by: Colleen West, Digital Editor Updated:
SEATTLE - As the father of three and once-successful Seattle attorney Danford Grant was about to go under a microscope during his rape trial, Grant pleaded guilty to amended rape charges in a last-minute plea deal.
Grant had been charged with two counts of rape, two counts of attempted rape, and one count of burglary. His trial was set to begin Wednesday morning.
Under the plea deal, Grant pleaded guilty to five counts of third-degree rape and one count of first-degree burglary.
Grant was accused of raping two Asian massage therapists. Under the plea deal, prosecutors added three other victims whose charges had been dismissed.
“The plea today vindicates the five victims of Mr. Grant who are each enormously relieved that they don’t have to come and testify in a public trial and face their attacker,” said King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg at a news conference.
Grant has agreed to a 25-year sentence -- 60 months for each rape charge -- with a year deducted for time served. Satterberg said Grant will serve at least 15 years of that sentence.
“We have agreed to this resolution because this plea provides certainty and accountability and finality to a difficult case,” said Satterberg.
Grant’s sentencing is set for May 19. He will remain on electronic home monitoring until then.
“Danford Grant carefully chose these women to be the victims of his violent rape ambitions He counted on them to be too afraid to call the police. He counted on their lack of English proficiency to be a barrier to any investigation, and he also knew that these women, who lived in the margins of society, would suffer a cultural shame surrounding sexual abuse that could be a powerful mandate for secrecy,” said Satterberg.
Grant, who Satterberg referred to as a serial rapist, will have to register as a sex offender upon his release.
Grant’s defense attorneys had argued the massage therapy was a front for prostitution and the sex Grant had with the massage therapists was consensual.
“He knew that they would be terrified standing up to a man like him and he also knew that many people would believe these rapes were merely commercial transactions gone awry. He was wrong,” Satterberg said.
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