Man accused of rape says there was no sex

Closing arguments expected Thursday morning in sex offender’s trial

By Jessica Prokop, Columbian Courts Reporter

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A Vancouver sex offender on trial for allegedly raping a woman testified Wednesday that they never had sex because he was unable to become aroused.

Jeremiah A. Teas, 40, is facing charges of first- and second-degree rape. Closing arguments in his trial are scheduled for Thursday morning in Clark County Superior Court.

Teas is accused of threatening and assaulting a Vancouver woman at knife point on Oct. 5. He was arrested two days later by the Clark County Sheriff’s Office.

In his opening statements Monday, Senior Deputy Prosecutor Kasey Vu described the victim as a single mother who, strapped for cash and desperate, posted an online ad to offer massage services. Teas responded, and they arranged to meet at her apartment.

She brought him to her bedroom, where Teas suddenly attacked her, Vu said. He held a knife to her throat and announced his intention to rape her, the deputy prosecutor said.

The woman was able to slip away, he said, and ran screaming to her roommate, who was half-asleep in another room. They locked themselves inside, and Teas left, forgetting to take the knife and a hat, Vu said.

The two women contacted police, and the victim underwent a sexual assault evaluation at a hospital.

Teas’s attorney, Gregg Schile, told jurors they are there to listen to witness testimony, then called Teas to the stand to tell his side.

Teas testified that he was browsing a website when he came across the woman’s ad and arranged to come to her apartment that afternoon. They did not discuss what kind of services would be performed, he said, or the fee.

When he arrived, they went to her bedroom, but there was no massage table, Teas said. The woman sat on her bed and instructed Teas to remove his pants. She also removed her pants, he said.

Teas told the jury that the woman insisted he use a condom, which she provided, but he was having trouble becoming aroused. He said he then tried to pay her, but when he reached into his pocket for the money, his pocket knife slipped out. Suddenly, the woman ran from the room screaming, Teas said. He pulled up his pants, grabbed his belongings and left.

Afterward, a vehicle with the woman riding in the front passenger seat followed him. She yelled, “I’m going to get you! I have your stuff!” and obscenities, Teas testified. He quickly left the area.

“I just wanted to get out of there,” he said. He didn’t realize he had left his knife and hat behind.

Two days later, when officers contacted him about the incident, Teas lied and said he was visiting someone else in the area. He said he was ashamed and didn’t want his family to know he tried to hire an escort.

On cross-examination, Vu asked Teas why he didn’t change his story with law enforcement after he was arrested and charged with rape. He also questioned why Teas removed his pants if he went to the woman’s apartment with the expectation of receiving a back massage.

Teas eventually conceded that he was hoping for more.

He also was unable to explain why investigators found his DNA during the victim’s sexual assault exam and on the knife, as well as blood smears in the apartment after apparently cutting himself.

Teas is classified as a Level 2 sex offender, which generally means there’s a moderate risk he will re-offend. He has a 1997 conviction for third-degree assault with sexual motivation and a 1998 conviction for first-degree child molestation, according to the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs’ database.

Because of his criminal history, Teas is facing a life sentence should the jury find him guilty.