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June 27, 2014 at 3:42 PM

Level III sex offender sentenced to 7 years in prison

Ricky Lee Lewis, a Level III sex offender who was scheduled to face trial this month for two alleged sexual assaults, was sentenced this afternoon to seven years in prison under a plea deal in King County Superior Court.

Lewis had faced a potential life sentence as a “persistent offender” under the state’s two-strikes law for serious sex crimes before he pleaded guilty to reduced charges of second-degree assault and two counts of unlawful imprisonment.

Prosecutors and his defense team agreed to recommend the seven-year sentence for the two separate assaults on women, court records show.

Lewis’ case caused a public furor in March 2013 when a King County Superior Court judge released Lewis on personal recognizance after he was charged with failing to register as a sex offender.

Six days later, Lewis was accused of dragging an 18-year-old woman into his van, taking her back to his travel trailer in North Seattle and sexually assaulting her.

Although the woman later changed her story and admitted to being a heroin addict and working as a prostitute, King County prosecutor Hugh Barber said in court that Lewis has a history of preying on vulnerable women.

In 1985, Lewis pleaded guilty to statutory rape in a case involving a 15-year-old girl and served six months in jail. In 1992, he was charged with second-degree rape, but acquitted in an alleged attack on a 20-year-old woman.

He was convicted of second-degree rape in 1993 and sentenced to 10 years in prison, court records show.

Lewis, who was originally charged with first-degree kidnapping and first-degree rape in the 2013 case, was to stand trial on two counts of second-degree assault with sexual motivation, unlawful imprisonment with sexual motivation and indecent liberties in the sexual assaults of the 18-year-old woman and a woman who is now 24.

Lewis pleaded guilty May 30 to second-degree assault and two counts of unlawful imprisonment. Because the charges aren’t classified as serious or violent sex offenses, he avoided a life sentence as a persistent offender.

At his sentencing hearing, Lewis admitted he sought sex with prostitutes, but said he was unfairly targeted by prosecutors.

Comments | More in General news, The Blotter | Topics: King County Superior Court, Level III sex offender, Ricky Lee Lewis

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