Attorney accused of rape still faces 5 felony counts
A Seattle attorney awaiting trial in connection with a string of sexual attacks on Asian massage therapists will face five, not nine, felony counts.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Four felony charges against a Seattle attorney awaiting trial in connection with a string of sexual attacks on Asian massage therapists have been dropped.
Danford Grant is still facing two counts of first-degree rape, two counts of attempted second-degree rape and one count of burglary stemming from incidents in 2011 and 2012.
On Monday, the King County Prosecutor’s Office announced it has dismissed four charges against Grant: one count of first-degree rape, two counts of second-degree rape and one count of attempted second-degree rape.
Opening statements in the trial are expected to be given on Wednesday.
The counts were dropped “as a result of additional investigation and case preparation,” said Ian Goodhew, deputy chief of staff for King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg. “We have narrowed the number of charges for trial.”
The reduction in counts will not make a major reduction in the amount of prison time Grant could face if convicted, Goodhew said. If convicted, Grant faces more than 20 years in prison.
Grant is on trial for the rape and attempted rapes of two women. He is also charged with first-degree burglary for allegedly breaking into the home of one of the alleged victims.
“When Danford Grant was denied sexual services that he requested, he turned to violence and forcibly raped the masseuse,” prosecutors wrote in their trial memorandum. “The defendant used false and ever changing names to schedule appointments. He used multiple ‘burner phones’ to schedule appointments in order to avoid identification.”
According to the prosecutor’s pretrial memo: In 2011, Grant made an appointment at a Bellevue massage clinic under the name “Hunter.” After the 90-minute massage he told his practitioner that he “wanted more.”
When the woman, who is now 47, refused, he grabbed her and demanded that she take off her clothes, the memo says. When the woman threatened to call the police and cried, his demeanor changed, according to the memo. The man, who prosecutors say was Grant, left but promised to return.
Prosecutors say that the following spring Grant, who booked his appointment under the name “Bob,” returned. The woman performed the massage, not recognizing him.
During the massage the man asked her if she had a boyfriend and promised to make her fall in love with him; he asked her to call him “Dan,” prosecutors said.
Grant left without harming the woman and again promised to return, prosecutors said.
That August, Grant returned to the woman’s salon and told her that he wanted to marry her. He also identified himself as the man who tried to rape her, prosecutors said. Grant then raped the woman, prosecutors said.
In June 2011, a woman, while employed at a Greenwood clinic, was giving Grant a massage when he grabbed her, pushed her onto the massage bed, then against a wall as he retrieved a condom, prosecutors say.
“Grant stopped the assault and left” after hearing someone in the hallway outside the room vacuuming, according to court documents.
The woman quit her job at the Greenwood clinic and set up a massage clinic inside her home, the affidavit says.
In late 2011, the same man from the June attack, using the names “Bob” and “Jim,” made separate appointments but wasn’t allowed inside after the woman recognized him, court documents say.
After one of the visits, the woman made a notation in her appointment book “that the ‘bad man’ had come to her house,” it says.
On Aug. 19, 2012, “Pete” set up an appointment. The woman opened her door with the chain in place and recognized “Pete” as the same man: “She tried to shut the door ... but he pushed through the door, breaking the chain,” and raped her, according to court documents.
Grant has been charged in connection with that attack.
The counts dismissed include the alleged rape of a woman whom Grant met at a North Seattle salon.
Another count dismissed involved a woman who said Grant groped and threatened to rape her inside a North Seattle salon in July 2012, prosecutors said in their pretrial memo.
Also dismissed was a charge that involved a woman who said that she was raped after performing a massage on Grant inside a North Seattle salon in September 2012. The fourth count involved Grant raping the same woman again later that month inside the same salon, prosecutors said.
In the prosecutors’ pretrial memo, they said they recovered video footage from the North Seattle salon of one alleged rape victim performing a sexual act on a customer. The woman later acknowledged it was her, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors would not say whether discovery of that footage impacted their decision to dismiss the counts involving her.
Grant, a 49-year-old father of three, posted $1 million bail and has been on electronic home detention since November 2012.
Information from Seattle Times archives is included in this report. Jennifer Sullivan: 206-464-8294 or firstname.lastname@example.org