Wife of lawyer accused of rapes seeks separation
The wife of Seattle attorney Danford Grant, who has been charged in connection with a series of rapes, filed a petition for legal separation from her husband last week in Snohomish County Superior Court.
Seattle Times staff reporter
The wife of Seattle attorney Danford Grant, who has been charged in connection with a series of rapes of Seattle-area massage therapists, filed a petition for legal separation from her husband last week in Snohomish County Superior Court.
The petition filed Thursday by a lawyer representing Jennifer Grant does not include a request for spousal maintenance, but does ask the court to determine child support for the couple's two young children and divide their property and debts.
A couple of weeks before Jennifer Grant filed her petition, David Allen, one of the lawyers representing Danford Grant in his criminal case, notified King County Superior Court Judge Mary Yu in a letter that his client's psychiatrist no longer wanted to treat Grant.
Yu had ruled earlier that Grant — who is on electronic-home detention after posting $1 million bail — would only be allowed to leave his house for meetings with his lawyers, doctor and therapist.
The psychiatrist "does not feel either comfortable or qualified to continue providing treatment to Mr. Grant in light of the charges in this case," Allen wrote in his Nov. 2 letter.
He went on to say that he sent another psychiatrist who specializes in the treatment of sex offenders Grant's counseling records and court documents related to the rape allegations against him.
Allen's letter was made part of the court record after both psychiatrists' names were redacted. It is not clear from the records whether Yu has ruled on the issue.
Grant has been charged with seven felonies, including four counts of first-degree rape involving alleged victims in Bellevue, Shoreline and Seattle between June and September, according to charging documents. He is also charged with second-degree rape, attempted second-degree rape and first-degree burglary.
Grant was arrested Sept. 24 near a Greenwood massage clinic, where police say he raped a massage therapist at knife point, according to the documents. He was booked into jail early on Sept. 25.
Danford and Jennifer Grant were married in King County in July 2000 and have two children together, an 8-year-old girl and a 5-year-old boy, court records show. Danford Grant also has a 16-year-old son from a previous relationship, who, along with Grant's elderly mother, lives with the family in North Seattle, the records say.
Jennifer Grant works in the Seattle City Attorney's Office as a supervising assistant city attorney.
Earlier this month, she was reassigned to responsibilities that do not entail courtroom prosecutorial work after news reports that she had moved her husband's SUV from where it was parked near the Greenwood clinic.
Another attorney representing Jennifer Grant later told Seattle police where the vehicle could be found, and Jennifer Grant is not suspected of removing or tampering with anything found inside, according to court records and her husband's defense team.
"Obviously, he [Danford Grant] has to be at that residence for home-detention," said Ian Goodhew, deputy chief of staff to King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg. If Grant's living arrangements were to change, "that would be a matter that would have to be brought to the attention of the court," but otherwise, the petition for separation has no bearing on Grant's criminal case, Goodhew said.
Rodi Hartney O'Loane, the lawyer who filed Jennifer Grant's petition, is on vacation and could not be reached Tuesday, according to a woman who answered the phone at O'Loane's Everett law office.
Danford Grant joined his wife's petition and both agree that their separation began Sept. 26, according to the petition — which was the day after Grant was booked into jail, charging documents say. Grant also made his first court appearance Sept. 26 and Jennifer Grant was among those in the gallery that day to show their support for the 47-year-old employment and business litigator.
Jennifer Grant also wrote an Oct. 17 declaration in support of a bail reduction for her husband.
"Most importantly, Dan's family, including his mother and siblings, as well as me and his three children, are the most important part of his life and his reason for existence," her declaration says. "He would never consider leaving his family, and he desperately needs to be united with us all."
A petition for legal separation is similar to a petition for dissolution, or divorce, except that the parties remain legally married, said one longtime family law attorney who spoke on condition of anonymity because he did not want his name associated with Grant's criminal case. "You jump through all the same hoops you do for dissolution," including coming up with a parenting plan, and asking a judge to rule on child support and the division of property, the attorney said. Six months after a judge issues a decree of legal separation, either spouse can seek to have it converted into a dissolution decree, he said.
Initially charged in the alleged attacks on four women, all massage therapists of Asian descent, Grant has since been charged with raping a fifth woman, a cashier at a Seattle massage clinic who he allegedly raped in her car after identifying himself as a police officer, charging papers say.
Sara Jean Green: 206-515-5654 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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