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April 13, 2012 at 2:45 PM

9-year sentence for man who attacked Seattle joggers

Duane E. Starkenburg

Duane E. Starkenburg

A man who pleaded guilty to a series of attacks in which he grabbed female joggers and buried his face in their buttocks in West Seattle’s Lincoln Park was sentenced today to just over 9 years in prison.

Duane E. Starkenburg, 47, pleaded guilty last month to two counts of second-degree assault and one count of third-degree assault with sexual motivation for assaulting three  joggers in August and December 2010 and January 2011. He also pleaded guilty to a charge of second-degree child molestation in an unrelated case.

In the August 2010 attack, a woman said a man grabbed her hips and planted his face in her buttocks while she jogged in the park, according to a Seattle police report. The woman told police the man said it was an accident.

In the December 2010 attack, a woman 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 on to her shoulder and helped him up, the report says.

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

The man claimed it was an accident.

The most recent attack happened just before 4 p.m. on Jan. 25, 2011, as a 27-year-old woman was jogging on Lincoln Park’s waterfront trail. 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.

Starkenburg was arrested a short time later as he attempted to cross Fauntleroy Way Southwest, according to police.

Following Starkenburg’s arrest, the two other women identified him from a photo montage, police said.

After a court appearance, Starkenburg told the media he was “outraged” by his arrest and insisted he had slipped in the January 2011 incident. “It’s not like I’m this guy who puts on makeup and is running around attacking women,” he said.

The child molestation charge stems from the follow-up investigation into the Lincoln Park attacks.

A Seattle police detective interviewed a woman who claimed Starkenburg had molested her daughter when the girl was 9 or 10. The victim, now 20, told detectives that Starkenburg offered “a massage” and then molested her.

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: assault, child molestation, King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office

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