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News / Northwest

Activist convicted of rape in New Mexico accused of raping 3 women in Seattle

By Sara Jean Green, The Seattle Times
Published: June 2, 2022, 7:26am

SEATTLE — An activist and tech entrepreneur pleaded not guilty to rape and voyeurism charges Wednesday in King County Superior Court, two weeks after he was booked into jail in Seattle after completing a prison sentence in New Mexico for raping a Washington woman there in 2017.

Redwolf Pope, who leased apartments in Seattle and Santa Fe, was arrested in Arizona in 2018 after his house guests turned over to police time-stamped videos from his iPad that allegedly showed him raping several women who appeared to be unconscious, according to court records and news accounts at the time.

A Santa Fe jury in 2020 found Pope guilty of rape and voyeurism, and a judge sentenced him to four years in prison, with credit for the 2 1/2 years he’d already served in jail awaiting trial, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported. Pope claimed he had consensual sex with the victim, according to the newspaper.

After serving that sentence, Pope, 45, was booked May 19 into the King County Jail, where he remains in custody in lieu of $500,000 bail.

Pope was initially charged in 2018 with two counts of second-degree rape for alleged sexual assaults committed against two women inside his Capitol Hill apartment in 2016 and 2017, charging papers say.

King County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Aubony Burns told Chief Criminal Judge Karen Donohue on Wednesday that based on additional video evidence uncovered during the investigation, she had amended the allegations against Pope, who now faces three second-degree rape and three first-degree voyeurism charges.

Donohue ordered Pope to have no contact with the Washington woman he raped in Santa Fe, the two women he allegedly raped in Seattle and three other people. All six are identified in court records by their initials.

In May 2018, two house guests found hidden cameras in Pope’s Seattle apartment and took the cameras’ memory cards and other memory sticks with them to Santa Fe, where they searched Pope’s other apartment and found several more hidden cameras, according to the King County charges.

One of the guests texted Pope, asking permission to use his iPad, and subsequently found encrypted video files, which showed him sexually assaulting three different women, say the charges, which refer to the videos as “trophies.”

The house guests turned the devices over to law enforcement, launching a joint investigation by Seattle and Santa Fe police.

“At times during the videos, the defendant smiled into the camera while he violated his victim,” King County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Emily Petersen wrote in charging documents filed in 2018. “The defendant was so proud of his repulsive behavior that (he) spliced together the three known rape videos and compiled a montage set to music.”

The women who were allegedly raped had no memories of the assaults and “were not even aware they had been raped” until they were contacted by Seattle police, Petersen wrote.

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One of the women allegedly raped in Seattle said her last memory before waking up in Pope’s bed was accepting a beverage from him while riding in his car, according to charging documents.

Pope, who has claimed Western Shoshone and Tlingit heritage, is an activist who appeared as a spokesperson for the Seattle-based United Indians of All Tribes Foundation on Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor” to discuss Native-American perspectives on Thanksgiving. In 2017. He also gave a TEDx Talk in Seattle about taking part in oil-pipeline protests at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, which straddles the border between North and South Dakota.

Pope’s LinkedIn page also describes him as a co-founder and chief executive for several tech startups and lists him as an attorney who has worked for the Tulalip Tribal Court for over a decade.

But Pope’s heritage and resume have come under dispute since his arrest nearly four years ago. While he received a law degree from Seattle University, the Washington State Bar Association previously confirmed he was not a licensed lawyer, and the Tulalip Tribes said he never worked as an attorney there.

Several tribes with Tlingit and Shoshone members also have said they’ve found no record of Pope’s enrollment, though it’s unclear whether he has claimed membership to any particular tribe.

A Native American news organization and others, including Abigail Echo-Hawk, the executive vice president of the Seattle Indian Health Board and an advocate for Native women’s rights, have labeled Pope an imposter, according to the Santa Fe New Mexican.

“Pope has created a false identity and posed as a Native man to infiltrate Native communities and prey upon our Indigenous women,” Echo-Hawk wrote in a 2019 letter to a district attorney in Santa Fe, the newspaper reported.

Echo-Hawk said Wednesday she stands by her 2019 statement about Pope and that she’s grateful police thoroughly investigated his alleged conduct.

“Justice isn’t something we often see,” she said.

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