Rape suspect, 14, comes from cycle of abuse, relatives say
Prosecutors charge the 14-year-old brother of a convicted teen rapist with the rape of an 8-year-old girl.
Seattle Times staff reporter
The 14-year-old Kent boy charged Wednesday with raping an 8-year-old girl comes from a family with “molestation all around,” say two close relatives.
The boy, along with an older brother who was 15 when he raped two teenage girls, were often left with their siblings for weeks at a time by their drug-addicted mother, who had been molested as a child, the relatives said. They come from a dysfunctional family and may have been molested themselves, according to the immediate family members, who asked not to be named because the family is divided about what should be revealed.
The older brother, Chrisean Cressel, pleaded guilty in January to two counts of first-degree rape and is now serving an indeterminate prison sentence of 20 years to life.
The relatives said the boys’ mother was well-intentioned, generous and kind, but deeply troubled by addictions and family issues that plagued her until the end of her life. The boys have different fathers.
Their mother, Angelique Herron, had four biological children and took in two children of others. Her last name is different from the last names of her children, the relatives said.
Herron died in February at age 37, public records show. Between 1986 and 2011, she was arrested almost 40 different times, court records show.
Since her death, her youngest child — the 14-year-old boy — has been adrift, the relatives said. The relatives say he had been bouncing between households before his arrest.
In charging documents filed Wednesday in King County Juvenile Court, prosecutors allege that the 6-foot-2, 230-pound teen lured the 8-year-old sister of a friend into a wooded area in Kent last Thursday where he beat and raped the girl.
The girl was wearing only a shirt and socks when she walked into the Red Lion Inn & Suites on 74th Avenue South and collapsed on the lobby floor, according to police and prosecutors.
A medical exam revealed the girl, who is 4 feet tall and weighs 90 pounds, suffered a concussion, multiple abrasions, bites and may have been beaten unconscious, prosecutors allege.
She told police that the boy pushed her to the ground, “socked” her in the face and pulled her pants off, according to the charging papers.
The boy is facing two charges: first-degree rape and first-degree rape of a child.
Prosecutors have also filed a motion asking for a “decline” hearing before a juvenile court judge to determine whether the teen can be charged as an adult. A decision in that matter could take months.
Because he is charged as a juvenile, The Seattle Times is not naming the teen, who does not share his brother’s last name.
The boy’s two relatives said they are sharing their family’s story because they don’t want the boy to be seen as a monster. They also want the teen to be psychologically evaluated before further criminal proceedings because they believe he needs help.
“I don’t know if he did it, or why,” said one, “but there was molestation all around the family.”
Both relatives said that the family of the boy’s mother had a history of sexual abuse that was never openly dealt with.
According to the two family members, Herron’s mother had been molested by relatives. Herron was kicked out of her house when she was 12 after she told her mother she’d been molested.
“Her mother was in complete denial and chose her man over her kid,” said one relative.
It was unclear from court records whether anyone had ever been charged in connection with her molestation. The relatives said they didn’t believe anyone had ever been arrested.
Without a home, Herron started using drugs and was pregnant by the time she was 14, they said. At the age of 15, she began committing mostly petty drug crimes. Other convictions included theft, eluding a police vehicle, taking a vehicle without permission.
Her most recent arrest, on a drug charge, came in 2011, according to court records.
Court documents also show that Herron’s brother, Robert L. Herron, is in prison on a first-degree child-rape conviction for raping a young female relative of Angelique Herron’s in 2003.
Herron confronted her brother and called police when she learned of the rape, court records show.
The relatives said Herron left her children at home alone in an attempt to shield them from her drug use. They also said she sold drugs away from the home, usually from a motel room.
She would return to leave money and food regularly, they said.
“She wasn’t bad. She was gentle and generous and she loved her kids,” a close relative said. “But she was thrown around and brutally molested. She was in a lot of pain. She didn’t know any better. She needed help and her boys need help.”
Seattle Times news researcher Miyoko Wolf contributed to this report.
Christine Clarridge can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-464-8983.