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July 30, 2014 at 4:23 PM

Sex offender accused of masturbating in front of woman

A 37-year-old West Seattle man, who police say exposed himself and masturbated in front of different women at least three times in recent weeks, was charged today with indecent exposure and failing to register as a sex offender, according to King County prosecutors.

Duane Atwood was arrested Friday and was released from the King County Jail the following day after posting $100,000 bail, according to jail records. A Seattle police detective arrested Atwood when he showed up in court today for his second appearance after Atwood’s bail was increased to $250,000, said Dan Donohoe, a spokesman for Prosecutor Dan Satterberg.

Atwood is an untreated sex offender who was classified as a “dangerous mentally ill offender” by the state Department of Corrections after he served two years in prison following his conviction in 2000 for second-degree arson and residential burglary with sexual motivation, according to charging documents. Despite a requirement that he register as a sex offender for life, Atwood, a Level II sex offender, failed to do so after returning to Seattle in 2010 from Boise, Idaho, where he moved in 2007, the charges say.

Atwood “is an untreated, unregistered sex offender who has exhibited dangerous, unpredictable and threatening behavior,” Senior Deputy Prosecutor Carla Carlstrom wrote in the charging papers, adding the state believes he “poses an extreme risk to the community.”

A 48-year-old woman, who was on her evening walk Friday night, called 911 and reported that a man had asked her for directions and when she approached his vehicle, she saw that he was masturbating, according to charging papers.

The woman, who was walking on Beach Drive Southwest near Southwest Orleans Street, provided police with the license plate number of the man’s silver SUV, which was registered to Atwood’s father, the papers say. The woman later identified Atwood from a photo montage, according to the charges.

The detective investigating the case learned of two similar incidents involving a man exposing himself and masturbating in a silver SUV, but the dates aren’t listed in the documents. But the charges say the alleged incidents “occurred in the same area within a short period of time” before the woman called 911 on Friday.

Atwood is the subject of a protection order barring him from having any contact with his ex-wife, who “is extremely afraid of him,” Carlstrom wrote in charging papers. He is also under investigation for threatening to rape and kill a female acquaintance in a series of phone calls last year “and charges are expected shortly,” the papers say.

In the 2000 case, Atwood set fire to the deck of a house where two women lived, painted the word “rape” on a sliding glass door, and left pornographic pictures on the door, according to charging documents. He also entered the house while¬†the women slept and took a purse and other personal items.

Soon after the women woke up the next day and discovered the fire, Atwood phoned them and said he was coming back, according to the charges.

 

 

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: indecent exposure, King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office, Seattle Police Department

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