Update at 2:54 p.m.:| The suspect in the rape and assault, who was scheduled to make a court appearance this afternoon, was released without charges.
According to the King County Prosecutor’s Office, the 41-year-old North Bend man is being released because the initial forensic-test results did not match the suspect. The North Bend-Snoqualmie Police Department will continue its investigation, the prosecutor’s office said.
Reached by phone, North Bend-Snoqualmie Police Chief Steve McCulley says he was surprised by the decision.
Original post:| A 41-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the stabbing and sexual assault of a woman at a North Bend pizzeria on March 9.
The suspect, a North Bend resident who is reported to have been a previous employee of the restaurant, was taken into custody on Tuesday, interviewed and then booked into jail, according to North Bend-Snoqualmie Police Chief Steve McCulley.
Prosecutors said the man will have a first court appearance at 2:30 p.m. today in the King County Jail.
The victim was alone and just finishing her shift at Jay Berry’s Gourmet Pizza & Pasta in the 400 block of Southwest Mount Si Boulevard when she stepped outside the back door around 11 p.m. and was accosted by a man. The man forced the woman, a mother of two in her 30s, back into the restaurant where she was bound with duct tape, sexually assaulted and stabbed, police said.
The woman was taken to Overlake Hospital Medical Center in Bellevue.
McCulley said investigators are still working on the case, but the arrest was based on evidence obtained from inside the restaurant, information from the victim and the interview with the suspect.
“We’re very glad we were able to make an arrest,” said McCulley. “There had been a building sense of people not feeling secure. We’re glad to be able to show that Snoqualmie police can and will do high quality police work.”
The assault happened just days after the Snoqualmie police took over the contract to provide law enforcement services for North Bend from the King County Sheriff’s Office.