Police fear man might kill woman he is accused of forcing into prostitution

Police fear Dominic Rich might seriously hurt or kill a woman with whom he has a “long, violent history,” court records show.

The 42-year-old is being held in Pierce County Jail on $250,000 bail after pleading not guilty Monday to second-degree promoting prostitution and violating a domestic violence court order.

Rich was most recently taken into custody Friday as he sat on a park bench in Tacoma after allegedly arranging for the woman to prostitute herself with a man who turned out to be an undercover detective.

Police learned in early August that Rich had control over the woman again and was forcing her into prostitution and beating her for not making enough money.

His abuse included injecting her with drugs to provide “energy” for more prostitution acts and password protecting her phone so she couldn’t get away, according to charging papers.

The woman “is very afraid of the defendant and says the defendant has threatened to kill her multiple times in the past, and has choked her to near or even past the point of unconsciousness,” records show.

While Lakewood officers drove the victim to the station to take a statement, Rich allegedly called her several times from jail.

He has a no-contact order prohibiting him from being near the woman. Rich has violated no-contact orders at least four times in the past, court records show.

In 2009, he pleaded guilty to fourth-degree assault and criminal mischief for choking the woman for leaving toys on the floor. Their 14-month-old child was in the room at the time.

Charging papers state: “Law enforcement officers have expressed concern that the defendant is a very real threat to hurt (the victim) or even kill her, particularly if she cooperates with this investigation and prosecution.”

Rich has prior convictions for promoting prostitution, identity theft, riot, possession of firearms, unlawful imprisonment, eluding, assault and drug offenses.

Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653