Special Reports

Rape charges in two cases

Terapon Dang Adhahn will be arraigned today on charges he repeatedly raped one school-age girl who lived with him for several years and sexually assaulted another girl abducted on her way to middle school in 2000.

Local and federal law enforcement officers continue to investigate the 42-year-old handyman in unsolved rapes and homicides, including the death of 12-year-old Zina Linnik of Tacoma.

It was the disappearance of Zina – who was taken July 4 from behind her Hilltop home and found dead July 12 – that brought Adhahn to the attention of authorities. Acting on a tip, they detained him July 8 on alleged immigration violations and seized his van as evidence.

He later passed information to his lawyer that led authorities to the girl’s body in East Pierce County.

Deputy prosecutor Ed Murphy said Wednesday he’s not ready to charge Adhahn in Zina’s death. Investigators still are interviewing witnesses, gathering evidence and creating a timeline in the case, Murphy said.

“We’re still working on it,” he said. “We want to get there, but we want to do it right.”

It will probably be next week at the earliest before prosecutors charge Adhahn in that case, Murphy said.

Murphy declined to say if Adhahn is cooperating with investigators at this time.

On Wednesday, Adhahn was booked into the Pierce County Jail for investigation of 59 crimes: kidnapping, failure to register as a sex offender and 57 counts of rape.

Murphy said Adhahn would be prosecuted for only a “sampling” of those crimes, most of which are connected to his suspected abuse of a girl who lived with him earlier this decade.

He currently is charged with 12 crimes: four counts of first-degree rape, three counts of second-degree rape, three counts of third-degree child rape, one count of first-degree kidnapping and one count of failure to register as a sex offender.

Seven of the rape charges stem from allegations made by a now-19-year-old woman who said Adhahn sexually assaulted her 150 to 200 times over several years beginning in 2000.

Tacoma police and FBI agents investigating Zina’s disappearance got a tip July 10 that the woman had lived with Adhahn as a girl and tracked her to Wichita, Kan. FBI special agent Eric Brantley interviewed her there and asked whether she knew Adhahn, according to court records.

“He raped me,” she replied.

Authorities then flew the woman to Tacoma and interviewed her further.

She told them she moved into Adhahn’s home in the 800 block of 173rd Street in Spanaway when she was 12 and a seventh-grader at Spanaway Junior High School, according to the affidavit.

Her mother was having trouble at the time, she said. Adhahn knew the mother’s boyfriend, the 19-year-old added.

About a year later, she relocated with Adhahn when he moved to a house on Spanaway Loop Road, she said. It was there, the woman said, that Adhahn raped her “too many times to count,” according to the court documents.

At least 15 times, he held her down or otherwise restrained her during the rapes, she said.

The woman reported the final assault occurred when she was 16, the affidavit states. Adhahn came into her room and demanded sex, she said. When she refused, he got a small black handgun, pointed it at her and said, “Shut up and do it,” she told investigators.

She left shortly thereafter to stay with friends, the affidavit states.

Detectives later discovered that the power at the Spanaway Loop Road address was transferred into Adhahn’s name in October 2003 and the account closed in June 2005.

When apprised of the apparent discrepancy in her statements – that she lived in the house as early as 2001 – the woman said she is not certain of the exact time frames.

“But she is certain that all the sexual assaults occurred at that address during the time that she lived there with the defendant,” according to the affidavit.

The kidnap charge and other rape charges stem from a 2000 attack on an 11-year-old Gault Middle School student.

The girl was abducted about 7 a.m. May 31 that year on her way to school, according to charging documents in that case. An Army sergeant found the girl walking on a road on Fort Lewis about three hours later.

The girl told investigators a man in a pickup grabbed her off the street, forced her into the truck and threatened to cut her with a knife, the charging documents state. He then duct-taped her hands, her mouth and her eyes, drove her to Fort Lewis and raped her for over an hour, according to the affidavit.

The rapist left her bound and bleeding and drove away.

DNA evidence from the girl’s underpants was collected. Detectives compared that evidence to DNA collected Monday from Adhahn and got a match, according to court records filed Wednesday.

In addition, investigators tentatively matched a tire track found near the site where the girl said she was raped to a black Toyota pickup Adhahn reportedly owned at the time of the attack, the affidavit in that case states.

Deputy prosecutor Mary Robnett, whose unit investigates sex crimes, said her office is reviewing other cases in which Adhahn might be a suspect.

“I think it’s fair to say that law enforcement is re-examining everything they have open,” Robnett said.

Lakewood police detectives announced Tuesday that they are investigating Adhahn’s possible connections to the death of Adre’anna Jackson, who disappeared in December 2005 on her way to school and was found dead four months later.

Lakewood police say Adhahn was known to do odd jobs in Adre’anna’s Tillicum neighborhood, and public records indicate he lived not far from there.

Efforts to reach Michael Kawamura, the county’s chief public defender, were unsuccessful Wednesday. Kawamura said last week he’d spoken to Adhahn after he was detained on the immigration violations. The attorney declined to say whether he was the lawyer who passed the whereabouts of Zina’s body to investigators.