Man pleads not guilty to attempting to rape woman and choking her

By Paris Achen, Columbian courts reporter

Published:

 

A Portland man pleaded not guilty Friday to charges he attempted to rape and choked to unconsciousness a 31-year-old woman in her northeast Hazel Dell home.

Joshua T. McKnight, 40, is charged with first-degree robbery with sexual motivation, first-degree attempted rape and second-degree assault. He is in the Clark County Jail on $200,000 bail.

The crimes allegedly happened the night of Jan. 17 after McKnight gave the victim a ride home from the jail, according to court documents. As thanks, she offered to cook him dinner. McKnight is accused of sexually assaulting the victim after she rejected his sexual advances, the court documents indicate. He allegedly choked her until she urinated and passed out. She eventually was able to escape and contacted a neighbor.

Clark County sheriff’s deputies apprehended McKnight later that night at Alki Road and Northeast Hazel Dell Avenue. Deputies used a Taser weapon to subdue him, allegedly because he wouldn’t follow directions and was becoming confrontational.

A laptop was reported missing from the house after the alleged incident, accounting for the first-degree robbery allegation, according to the sheriff’s office and court documents.