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March 31, 2012 at 6:01 AM

Trial to begin for Seattle man accused of attacking female joggers

Duane “Eddie” Starkenburg

Duane “Eddie” Starkenburg

The trial for a man accused of grabbing female joggers and burying his face in their buttocks in a Seattle park is scheduled to begin next week in King County Superior Court.

Jury selection could begin as early as Monday in the trial of Duane “Eddie” Starkenburg, 47, who is charged with two counts of indecent liberties and one count of attempted indecent liberties for the alledged attacks in West Seattle’s Lincoln Park.

According to prosecutors, three different victims identified Starkenburg as the man responsible for attacks in the park in August and December 2010 and an attempted attack in January 2011. Starkenburg has maintained his innocence.

In the August attack, a woman identified by the initials LH said she passed a man but then heard steps close behind her as she jogged down a hill, according to a police report. As she turned a corner, the man grabbed her hips and planted his face in her buttocks, the report said.

The woman told police the man said it was an accident, according to the report.

In the December attack, a woman identified by the initials TC told police she was walking up some stairs to the parking lot in Lincoln Park when a man asked for her help, saying he had injured his shin. She let him hold onto her shoulder and helped him up, the report says.

As they reached a landing, “the suspect got behind TC and that’s when he grabbed her by the hips,” it says. The woman screamed as he pushed his face into her buttocks, according to the report.

The suspect attempted to grab the woman’s ankles but she kicked him and got loose, the report says. She turned and saw him lying on the ground. “He told her, ‘Oh my God, I can’t believe I did that. I’m sorry,’ ” according to the report.

The man claimed it was an accident.

The most recent incident happened just before 4 p.m. Jan. 25, 2011, as a 27-year-old woman was jogging on the waterfront trail in Lincoln Park. She told police a man ran up behind her and attempted to tackle her, throwing his arms around her legs. The woman, who was not injured, was able to break free and get away.

There is not points to locate on the map

Starkenburg was arrested as he attempted to cross Fauntleroy Way Southwest, according to police.

Following Starkenburg’s arrest, the two other victims identified him from a photo montage, according to police.

After a court appearance, Starkenburg told the media he was “outraged” by his arrest and insisted he slipped in the Jan. 27, 2011, incident. “I don’t remember running into her,” Starkenburg said. “I went down and my hands went into the mud. I was covered in it.”

He also denied that the incident was related to other attacks on female joggers in Seattle.

“It’s not like I’m this guy who puts on makeup and is running around attacking women,” he said. 

Starkenburg is also facing an unrelated charge of first-degree child rape.

During the follow-up investigation into the Lincoln Park incidents, a Seattle police detective interviewed a woman who claimed Starkenburg had molested her daughter when the girl was 9 or 10. The alleged victim, now 20, told detectives that Starkenburg offered “a massage” and then molested her, and that he may have molested her more than once.

The alleged victim’s mother did not report the molestation to police at the time, according to court documents.

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: attempted indecent liberties, indecent liberties, King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office

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