The case against Danford Grant, a Seattle attorney charged with four counts of first-degree rape, will proceed under King County Superior Court Judge William Downing.
The change was announced at a hearing today by Judge Mary Yu, who had been presiding over the case before she was appointed this week to the state Supreme Court by Gov. Jay Inslee.
Yu today also said she has ruled against a defense motion to dismiss the charges against Grant. She said she would issue her ruling in writing next week.
Prosecutors said jury selection for Grant’s trial will begin Monday in Downing’s court.
Grant, 49, is accused of raping five Seattle-area massage therapists and has been charged with nince felonies, including the four counts of first-degree rape.
In his defense, Grant claims that he engaged in consensual, paid sex with the women, according to court records.
The defense motion to dismiss, which was filed in March, argues that police failed to preserve secret-video footage that could have cleared Grant. In a related motion, the defense also is seeking to suppress evidence seized by Seattle and Bellevue police from Grant’s home, office, computers and car, arguing the search warrants weren’t specific enough.
In the state’s response to the motion to dismiss, King County Senior Deputy Prosecutors Val Richey and Corrin Bohn wrote that there’s no reason to believe the secret footage would have cleared Grant and that there was no bad faith on the part of police.
They also questioned why the women — who independently provided “remarkably similar stories of his violent rapes” — would call police if they were “willingly providing consensual sex” to Grant, according to court documents.