Seattle police arrested a Level 2 sex offender this morning after he allegedly sexually assaulted a 25-year-old woman during a church service, said police spokeswoman Renee Witt, calling the incident one of the most bizarre she’s heard of in her 20 years in law enforcement.
The 37-year-old man, who was convicted of assault to commit rape in California in 2002, was seated behind his alleged victim Sunday morning during a service in the 400 block of Yale Avenue North, Witt said. When the woman and other congregants in her row stood up, the suspect reached over and lifted her skirt, she said. Though the woman didn’t immediately notice, several of her relatives saw what happened, grabbed the man and escorted him out, Witt said.
“Somehow the suspect slipped back in through a side door,” made a beeline to the woman and sat down next to her, she said. He again lifted the woman’s skirt and sexually assaulted her before the woman’s male relatives again grabbed him and held him until officers arrived, Witt said. The man was booked into the King County Jail just before noon on investigation of rape, according to Witt and jail records.