Police checking if suspect used electronics to track victims
Police want to determine whether Danford Grant, a Seattle attorney accused of raping several massage therapists, used electronic devices to contact and research his alleged victims or locate the businesses where the women worked.
Seattle Times staff reporter
A BB gun, disinfectant wipes and electronic equipment — including a video camera and a GPS device — are among the items police seized from the black Honda Pilot owned by Danford Grant, a Seattle attorney who is accused of raping several Seattle-area massage therapists, according to a search-warrant affidavit filed this week in King County Superior Court.
On Monday, a judge also gave permission for police to forensically search Grant's iPhone and GPS system for evidence that could link him to the attacks. Specifically, police want to determine whether he used the devices to contact and research his alleged victims or locate the businesses where the women worked, court records show.
Also among the items seized from Grant's SUV was a "plastic bag and contents," but the contents are not disclosed in the warrant.
Police said in a previous search warrant that they are looking for a black folding knife and Trojan-brand condoms in light-green wrappers.
Recently added to Grant's case file is a letter written last month to Mary Yu, the King County Superior Court judge assigned to the case, from a woman who formerly worked at Grant's law firm. In the letter, the woman said she and her female co-workers referred to Grant as "Dirty Dan" because of inappropriate comments he made about women.
Richard Hansen, one of Grant's defense attorneys, declined to comment on the items found in the SUV or the woman's letter.
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 a couple of weeks after raping the same woman at knife point, according to the documents. He has been released after posting $1 million and is on electronic-home detention while awaiting trial.
Grant wore condoms in some of the rapes, and he took with him a paper covering off a massage table after one attack, apparently to remove potential DNA evidence from the scene, according to court records. However, detectives have recovered possible DNA evidence in at least two of the rapes, the records show.
The woman formerly employed as a paralegal in Grant's law firm addressed her Nov. 9 letter to Yu, King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg and Bellevue police Detective Bob Thompson. She wrote that she contemplated contacting Grant's defense team to give Grant the opportunity to "own up to the things he said to me and told me," but it didn't feel right, the letter says.
"So I am writing this letter instead, and quite frankly it pains me to do so. But at this point, I do feel it is my civic duty," she wrote.
The woman did not respond to an email sent Friday by The Seattle Times requesting an interview.
According to her letter, the woman met Grant in 2005 when he became an associate attorney at Stafford Frey Cooper; she remained an employee when the name of the firm was later changed to Bailey Grant Onsager. Grant's law partners have since dropped his name from the firm.
The woman, contacted Friday, declined further comment.
The woman never reported Grant to the firm's human-resources office because she didn't want to get him fired, the letter says.
The woman details being sexually propositioned on at least two occasions by Grant, who once told her he liked her "big boobs," according to the letter. After driving the woman home in fall 2006, he suggested sex and the woman questioned him about cheating on his wife, the letter says.
He told her he had cheated on his wife "many times," and that it was "kind of a problem," according to the letter. Grant told her he was seeing a therapist weekly "to keep himself in check," the letter says.
In another conversation with Grant, the woman said he named four other female co-workers he wanted to have sex with, but told the woman he would never leave his wife and never wanted her to find out about his infidelity, according to the letter. Grant asked the woman not to tell anyone about their conversation and said he'd deny it if she did.
According to the woman's letter, Grant told her: "Who do you think they're going to believe, you or me? I mean ... look at this face."
Afterward, the woman told the other women in the office about the conversation.
"From then on, between us female co-workers, he came to be known as 'Dirty Dan,' " the letter says.
Sara Jean Green: 206-515-5654 or email@example.com
Information from Seattle Times archives
is included in this report.