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The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

April 19, 2013 at 2:49 PM

Life sentence for sex offender who menaced U District women with knife

A convicted rapist who broke into a University District house last year and threatened six young women with a knife, undressing one of the victims, was sentenced this afternoon to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

A King County jury found Robert Douglas Hitt, 34, guilty last month of nine felony charges, including six counts of first-degree kidnapping, two counts of first-degree robbery and one count of first-degree burglary. Because two of the charges in the University District home invasion carried sexual-motivation allegations, Hitt faced a life sentence under Washington’s “two strikes” law for repeat sex offenders.

During this afternoon’s sentencing hearing it was revealed that Hitt had tried to commit suicide earlier today by cutting his arms with a razor in the King County Jail. He was kept in restraints during the hearing.

Hitt, a Level II sex offender, had been released from prison two months before the March 11, 2012, home invasion after serving 10 years for first-degree rape.

Police said Hitt broke into the home in the 5000 block of 20th Avenue Northeast early in the morning and ordered six young women, all University of Washington students, into a bedroom at knifepoint. Hitt bound the hands of one woman and then took her clothes off, police said.

Two other roommates hid in their bedrooms and called 911, summoning police who arrested Hitt.

Officers found a knife in Hitt’s pocket, along with cellphones belonging to two of his victims, police said. He claimed he planned to rob the women for beer money, police said.

Hitt was under lifelong supervision by the state Department of Corrections (DOC) at the time of the attack.

According to court records, Hitt was charged with first-degree rape in October 2001 and pleaded guilty in May 2002.

He completed a sex-offender treatment program and was released from prison Jan. 10, 2012, after the Indeterminate Sentence Review Board found he was at low risk to reoffend, according to the DOC. The board could have extended his prison sentence in two-year increments, up to a maximum of life, court records show.

| More in The Blotter | Topics: home invasion, kidnapping, King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office


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