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October 31, 2014 at 4:07 PM

Repeat offender gets 45 years for raping ailing, elderly woman

A 35-year-old Seattle man was sentenced to nearly 45 years in prison on Friday for robbing two women last year in the Chinatown International District and violently raping one of them.

Jacob Ward was facing life in prison as a persistent offender, but struck a plea deal with prosecutors that spared his victims from having to testify.

Originally charged with second-degree rape, Ward pleaded guilty on Oct. 16 to two counts of first-degree theft, two counts of second-degree burglary and one count of third-degree assault with sexual motivation, court records show.

Though he agreed to an exceptional sentence above the standard range, Ward will avoid an indeterminate sentence, which would have allowed a state board to potentially add more time to his sentence for the sexual assault.

Ward was released from prison in June 2013 after he was convicted of first-degree robbery in a similar attack on a woman in the Chinatown ID in 2008, according to court records and the Department of Corrections. During that incident, he followed a woman into her apartment building, robbed her at knife point and exposed himself, the records say. He dragged her to the floor, but witnesses intervened before the woman was sexually assaulted, according to the records.

On July 19, 2013, a little more than a month after his release from prison, Ward followed a resident into an apartment building on Sixth Avenue South and forcibly took a purse belonging to a 62-year-old woman, who had been seated in the building’s lobby, court records say. He ran from the building, and the woman’s son later called police to report the theft, according to the records. The woman was not hurt.

Five days later, Ward followed a 77-year-old woman into the same apartment building, dragged her through a hallway, punched and kicked her, then raped her at knife point, the records say.  He ran off after stealing money from her purse, according to the records.

The woman, who has Parkinson’s disease and walks with a cane, was taken to Harborview Medical Center to be treated for her injuries, court records say. The records note that Ward is 5 foot 11 and weighs 150 pounds, while his elderly victim is 4 foot 10 and weighs 78 pounds.

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