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March 29, 2013 at 2:11 PM

Tacoma man gets 12 years for torturing woman in ‘bondage room’

John Joseph Hauff, Jr., is seen at the King County Courthouse for his sentencing hearing on Friday, March 29, 2013, in Seattle, Wash.

John Joseph Hauff, Jr., is seen at the King County Courthouse for his sentencing hearing on Friday. (John Lok / The Seattle Times)

A Tacoma man who pleaded guilty to the rape and torture of a woman he picked up in Seattle and took home to what police called a “bondage room” in April 2011 was sentenced today to just over 12 years in prison.

John Joseph Hauff Jr., 68, was about to stand trial on first-degree rape, first-degree kidnapping and second-degree assault charges when he pleaded guilty a week ago to second-degree rape and unlawful imprisonment with sexual motivation.

Because Hauff pleaded guilty to two sex crimes, he faces the potential of an indeterminate sentence of up to life in prison.

King County Superior Court Judge Mary Yu went beyond the 10-year sentence recommended by prosecutors and the defense. “You know, Mr. Hauff, if you had done what you did to this woman to a dog, I can tell you this community would be outraged,” she said

Hauff picked up the 24-year-old woman who was working as a prostitute in the 8200 block of Aurora Avenue North on April 2, 2011, and offered her $100 to allow him to tie her wrists to his bedposts, according to charging documents. The woman agreed, but she became worried for her safety and texted Hauff’s license plate number to a friend, asking that he contact police if he didn’t hear from the woman by midnight, the charges say.

On the drive to Tacoma, Hauff pulled over in Federal Way, bound the woman’s hands and blindfolded her, saying he didn’t want her to see where he lived, according to the charges. Once arriving at a remote, sprawling property in northeast Tacoma, Hauff led the woman inside his mobile home, where he had constructed a “bondage room,” charges say.

As soon as he escorted the woman into the room, he “quickly put a chain around the victim’s neck and padlocked it,” the papers say.

When she asked Hauff if he was going to hurt her, he said, “Yes.” She then asked if he was going to kill her and he said, “We’ll see,” according to charging papers.

Hauff then tortured the woman for eight hours.

The woman, fearing “she would be killed and buried somewhere in his yard,” told Hauff about the text message she had sent, charging papers say.

After viewing the text on her cellphone, Hauff gave the woman another $100, drove her back to Seattle and asked her not to contact police, the papers say.

The woman reported the incident to Seattle police, who found the bondage room, with 8-inch-thick walls, and “recovered syringes, belts, paddles, sexual devices, locks, ropes, chains, tubing and two devices that appear to be designed to administer electricity to the human body,” charging papers say.

Tacoma police and search-and-rescue teams later searched Hauff’s property with cadaver dogs, but found no evidence of bodies buried there, court records show.

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office, rape, Tacoma

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