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Seattle man charged with first-degree rape, robbery in South Lake Union assault

The man faces charges of rape, robbery and burglary.

SEATTLE — A suspect was charged with first-degree rape, first-degree robbery with sexual movitation and residential burglary with sexual motivation after he allegedly raped a woman at knifepoint in her South Lake Union apartment last weekend.

A judge ordered the suspect, identified as Isaiah David Weston, to be held on $750,000 bail Wednesday.

The Seattle Police Department got a call at 7:23 p.m. on Saturday night that a 36-year-old woman had been raped by a man in her apartment. 

The suspect was caught on surveillance video entering the Kiara apartment complex through the front door. He was seen running toward the elevator attempting to get on. After he was unsuccessful, the suspect walked around the lobby appearing to look for a way upstairs, according to court documents. The suspect is later seen exiting the apartment complex through a stairwell exit on Denny Way.

The victim told police she had opened her front door to ventilate the unit after what she was cooking generated excessive smoke. The suspect then entered the apartment unit and displayed a knife, demanded money from the victim, and walked around the unit looking for items to take. 

The suspect then raped the victim and rifled through the items in her apartment unit, stealing a Louis Vuitton purse and three credit cards, according to court documents. 

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The victim was treated at a local hospital and returned to her apartment early on Sunday morning. Just before 9 a.m., the woman called 911 again and said the man was outside her door.

Police arrived and arrested the man, who was wearing a backpack that had some of the victim's valuables in it at the time he was taken into custody. The victim was able to identify the suspect as the man who raped her.

Seattle police said the suspect didn't know the woman. 

The suspect was interviewed by detectives at Seattle Police Department headquarters and informed that he was being video and audio recorded. Detectives read the suspect his Miranda rights and then left the room. 

While the suspect was alone in the room, he was heard saying "that he should just say he robbed 'her' and not raped 'her,'" according to court documents. 

Detectives also informed the suspect that his clothes would be collected for evidence and the suspect responded "but these aren't the clothes (suspect paused his speech) that I see the guy wearing in the video," according to court documents.

Police also obtained a search warrant for the suspect's apartment where they found a black hoodie matching the clothes the suspect appeared to be wearing in surveillance video. 

Mary Ellen Stone is the CEO of the King County Sexual Assault Resource Center. She says that of the 5,000 reported sexual assaults her nonprofit worked on, about 12% were classified as random – meaning there was no prior relationship between the assailant and the victim.

She also says that most victims don't report assaults to law enforcement.

Though a recent increase in cases may mean that's changing.  

"We know this has been a hidden crime for generations and that more people coming forward is generally a good sign that they're willing to seek help that there is an acknowledgment that this was not my fault that there is an acknowledgment that there's some resources out there," Stone said.

With the suspect now in custody attention now turns to the apartment complex – residents are left wondering how someone was able to get into the building and how they'll make sure this can't happen again.

KING 5 has reached out to the building's management company called Holland Residential. The company said it is aware of the incident and is working with Seattle police. 

A letter was sent to residents informing them of "unauthorized access" to the building and reminding tenants to close the door behind them. The company has yet to comment on safety measures taken since the attack.

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