A level 3 sex offender whose alleged groping of a Seattle woman on Oct. 12 resulted in a social media campaign to have police investigate the incident may be responsible for more than a dozen similar incidents, police said.
Seattle police on Tuesday said that more than a dozen women have contacted the Sexual Assault Unit to report that they had been groped by the same man, said department spokesman Drew Fowler. “Twelve to fourteen women have come forward to say that he also groped them,” said Fowler.
He said detectives are investigating these reports.
The suspect, who is not being named by The Times because he has not been charged, is accused of groping Julia Marquand, 28, near Westlake Park.
Marquand, a Belltown resident, says she was walking into a store when the man groped her. She yelled at him and he “nervously” apologized before quickly walking off.
Marquand later confronted the man again and took his picture.
Marquand posted the photo of the man on Twitter after she reported the incident to Seattle police but came away feeling the officer didn’t take her complaint seriously. Police later conceded the officer who took Marquand’s report did not properly respond to her complaint.
State Department of Corrections (DOC) officers arrested the man Wednesday after recognizing the photo posted by Marquand. The 36-year-old Kirkland man is under DOC supervision for an earlier conviction for groping a woman in 2012 at University Village.
His DOC-mandated GPS bracelet indicated he had violated his probation by being in a Seattle park and being out past his curfew, a DOC spokeswoman said. He is being held at the King County Jail for violating the terms of his supervision.
The King County Prosecutor’s Office said Tuesday that the case will not be reviewed by their office. Instead, prosecutor’s spokesman Dan Donohoe said the case will be sent over to the Seattle City Attorney’s Office for possible misdemeanor charges.
Court records show the man has a long history of groping strangers. After The Times ran a story about Marquand, several women contacted the newspaper and claimed they had been groped by the man.