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October 15, 2014 at 2:21 PM

Police investigating sex offender for alleged Westlake groping

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Julia Marquand, of Seattle, says she was groped by a man while walking into a store near Westlake Park on Sunday.

A level 3 sex offender is being investigated in connection with the alleged groping of a woman Sunday near Westlake Park.

Seattle Police Department spokesman Detective Patrick Michaud said police were notified that a photo of the man taken by the alleged victim bore a resemblance to the sex offender. The man is a 36-year-old level 3 sex offender, according to a law enforcement source.

The victim, 28-year-old Julia Marquand, said she was frustrated by the lack of response from police after she reported the incident so she posted a picture on Twitter of the  man who groped her. According to documents filed in King County Superior Court, the man has a history of similar assaults.

Marquand, a Belltown resident, said she was walking near Westlake Park when a man groped her as she entered a store.  She yelled at the man, who “nervously” apologized before quickly walking off, she told The Times.

Marquand later confronted the man again and took his picture. “He promised he wouldn’t do it again and said, ‘Please don’t take my picture,’ and I said, ‘Too late! If you don’t want your picture taken, then don’t grope women.’ ”

A law enforcement source said that once investigators were tipped to the identity of the suspect they called him in to the Department of Corrections (DOC) office on Fourth Avenue in Sodo. The man was wanted by DOC for violating the terms of his probation, the source said.

Once at the DOC office, the man was arrested in connection with the violation and transported to the King County Jail.

The source said that after the man arrives at the jail he will be interviewed about the Westlake case as well as other possible sexual assault cases.

The Times is not naming the man because he has not been charged in connection with the alleged incident near Westlake Park.

The man has convictions for assault, harassment-domestic violence and violation of a protection order.

In 2002, he was arrested by University of Washington police for indecent liberties after he approached a stranger during the intermission of a performance at Meany Hall and ran his fingers through her hair and then down her face, according to court records. He then grabbed her breast and made crude, sexual comments.

In 2003, he was convicted of fourth-degree assault after he grabbed a woman’s buttocks, court records say.

In February 2012, he was sentenced to 20 months in prison for third-degree assault after he grabbed a woman’s breast as she sat on a bench at University Village. It was not immediately clear how much time he served.

Reacting to the man’s arrest, Marquand said she feels vindicated. “Finally being a loud mouth paid off,” she said.

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: assault, groping, twitter

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