Wednesday, September 22, 2021
Sept. 22, 2021

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Employee attacked in King County courthouse bathroom, 1 arrested

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SEATTLE — A 35-year-old man was arrested inside the King County Courthouse after Seattle police say he hid in a restroom and attacked a woman who works at the courthouse.

Police spokesperson Sgt. Randy Huserik said a sheriff’s deputy walking by the restroom Thursday heard the woman’s screams and intervened, The Seattle Times reported.

Huserik said the man was interviewed by Seattle police sexual assault detectives and was expected to be booked into the King County Jail. He said the woman didn’t require medical treatment.

In an email sent to employees in the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, Casey McNerthney, a spokesperson for prosecutor Dan Satterberg, characterized the incident as an attempted rape.

The suspect was described as being homeless. It wasn’t immediately known if he stays in an encampment in City Hall Park south of the courthouse and the site of a recent homicide and assaults. A man died from a heroin overdose in the park on July 1, according to the King County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Ongoing safety concerns for staff and court visitors, including jurors, has prompted recent debate over whether the encampment’s residents should be moved out of the park.

According to McNerthney and court records, the man arrested Thursday was released from jail on July 23 after serving nearly two years for indecent liberties with forcible compulsion and assault with sexual motivation among other charges.

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