SEATTLE – A Seattle attorney who pleaded guilty to rape and burglary in attacks on five masseuses in 2011 and 2012 was sentenced Monday to 25 years in prison.
Danford Grant could be released on parole after 15 years. He will also be required to register as a sex offender.
Prosecutors said Grant’s victims were so traumatized, they didn’t want to face him in court at his sentencing.
Instead, victim's advocates read their letters in open court and gave a voice to their pain.
"I remember that horrible night very well it is like a movie in my head the way he looked at me with those eyes and the real scary sharp knife,” said one victim.
Prosecutors say Grant intimidated the Asian immigrants into sex, thinking they wouldn’t go to police because of shame or their history in the sex trade. In at least one case, prosecutors say Grant brandished a knife.
Prosecutors agreed to a plea deal that would lessen the charges from first degree rape to third and avoid the possibility of life in prison for Grant. In exchange, he would plead guilty to five counts instead of two. Both sides conceded they were worried about bringing their cases before a jury.
Grant apologized at his sentencing.
“I want to use this opportunity to acknowledge that I have committed wrongs and to express my deep regret for the emotional pain I have caused,” said Grant.
During the investigation a hidden camera video from one of the massage parlors surfaced showing one of the victims engaging in prostitution, muddying the prosecution’s case for a stronger conviction. Prosecutors were quick to point out that rape is rape, regardless of whether the person is a prostitute.