A Level 3 sex offender accused of groping a woman near Westlake Park on Oct. 12 was charged Thursday with one count of assault with sexual motivation, a gross misdemeanor.
Seattle City Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Kimberly Mills wrote in a news release that her office will be asking that Daryl R. Sharma be held in lieu of $50,000 when he appears in court for arraignment on Friday. Sharma, 36, is being held at the King County Jail without bail for allegedly violating the terms of his state Department of Corrections probation.
Seattle police say they have received more than a dozen other reports of Sharma allegedly groping other women. The incidents are under investigation, said department spokesman Drew Fowler.
The alleged victim, 28-year-old Julia Marquand, says she was walking near Westlake Park when Sharma groped her as she entered a store. 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.
Seeing the suspect’s photo encouraged more than a dozen women to contact police.
Sharma has been supervised out of DOC’s Special Assault Unit for a 2012 third-degree-assault conviction from King County and was scheduled to finish his supervision on Jan. 20, 2016.
Marquand said Thursday that she was expecting charges to be filed against Sharma, “given the publicity” on the case.
“It’s a relief,” Marquand said. “Women have different reactions to this; this [being groped] could be traumatic. I don’t want this to happen any more.”
Court records show he has a long history of groping strangers.
In February 2012, Sharma 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.
He served five months with credit for the time he served in jail.
According to charges filed in that case, the woman told Seattle police that she was on a work break when the suspect interrupted her and introduced himself. The woman told police she politely shook his outstretched hand and then he reached down, rubbed her head and grabbed for her left breast.
Court documents also show the man was arrested by University of Washington police in 2002 for indecent liberties after Sharma allegedly approached a stranger and ran his fingers through her hair and then down her face, while making kissing sounds. He grabbed her breast and made crude, sexual comments.
When she pulled away, Sharma shouted profanities at her, according to court records.
In 2003, he was convicted of third-degree assault for approaching a woman he didn’t know and wrapped his arm around her neck and grabbed her breast, court documents show.
Also in 2003, court documents say Sharma was convicted of fourth-degree assault for grabbing a woman’s buttocks.