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May 19, 2014 at 9:55 AM

Attorney Danford Grant sentenced to 25 years for series of rapes

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King County Jail officers cuff Danford Grant after he is sentenced to 25 years in prison on Monday at the King County Courthouse. Grant pleaded guilty to a series of rapes. (Photo by John Lok / The Seattle Times)

Seattle attorney Danford Grant was sentenced this morning to 25 years in prison for raping five massage therapists.

During his sentencing hearing in King County Superior Court, Grant apologized to the victims and their families.

“I want to use this opportunity to acknowledge I have committed wrong and to express my deep regret for the emotional pain that I have caused,” he said.

“I recognize that my behavior was reprehensible and know that I should be punished and that prison is a just punishment.”

Emotional statements from several of Grant’s victims were read in court, prompting Judge William Downing to comment, “Their strength is as formidable as their innocence is unsullied.”

Earlier this month, just as he was about to stand trial, Grant pleaded guilty to five counts of third-degree rape and one charge of  first-degree burglary. In his plea deal with King County prosecutors, Grant faced 25 years in prison: 5 years for each rape, with the burglary sentence to run concurrently with the rape sentences.

Grant, 49, was arrested in September 2012 after a series of sexual assaults on massage therapists, according to police and prosecutors. He was originally charged with seven felonies in connection with rapes or attempted rapes of five massage therapists in 2011 and 2012.

Last month, King County prosecutors added two felony charges, but later dismissed four of the nine felonies he faced involving three alleged victims over evidence concerns, according to court records.

Had Grant’s case gone to trial, it was expected that he would present a defense that he engaged in paid, consensual sex with his victims.

King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg has called Grant a violent serial rapist. He described him as a “man of power and privilege” who preyed upon women he believed were vulnerable.

“He thought he chose his victims wisely,” Satterberg said following Grant’s pleas. All of Grant’s victims are Asian women.

Four of the five victims wrote letters that were read in court this morning. One wrote that in Chinese culture, rape brings shame and embarrassment, which she believes is why he selected his victims.

Another wrote: “I don’t have a shoulder to lean on; no family in America. I cry at night.”

Following Grant’s plea on May 7, his attorney, Richard, Hansen, said Grant suffered from depression and sex addiction.

Grant, a married father of three, had been on electronic home detention since posting $1 million bail in November 2012. He was a partner in a private law firm in Seattle before his arrest.

An employment and business litigator, Grant once worked in the Seattle City Attorney’s Office and coached Little League baseball, according to his profile on the social media site LinkedIn.

Timeline:  Danford Grant case

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

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