Crime

Man who attacked Tacoma day-care worker sentenced to 23 years to life in prison

A 20-year-old Tacoma man was sentenced Friday to at least 23 years in prison for a series of sexual assaults targeting women, including the attempted rape of a day-care worker.

Judge Edmund Murphy handed down the sentence to Andrake Morris in Pierce County Superior Court. Morris pleaded guilty earlier this year to eight felonies in all, attempted first-degree rape and first-degree robbery among them.

Morris had been charged with 12 crimes and was under investigation in another, but deputy prosecutors agreed to drop four charges in exchange for his guilty plea.

It will be up to the state’s Indeterminate Sentence Review Board to decide whether Morris is eligible for release after he serves the 23 years. He could be ordered held for life.

Investigators said Morris tried to rape a day-care worker just before the business opened by talking his way inside.

Detectives later connected him to four other sexually motivated assaults, including a case in which he broke into an apartment, masturbated over a sleeping woman and stole her laptop. He was arrested in March 2013.

One victim wrote a letter to Murphy, telling the judge about her experience since the attack.

“I no longer feel I can be alone,” she wrote. “I live in fear. My husband supports me, even if it is when I am waking up screaming from the nightmares I have.”

There had been initial questions about Morris’ mental ability to understand the legal proceedings against him, but Murphy later ruled he was competent to stand trial.

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