by: Amy Clancy Updated:
With pretrial motions now underway and jury selection set to begin soon, the lawyers for accused serial rapist Danford Grant have filed a new motion that claims “the alleged victim in Counts 8 and 9 has repeatedly lied.”
According to documents filed Tuesday in King County Superior Court, the alleged victim, identified by initials JW, was interviewed by defense attorneys Cooper Offenbecher and Richard Hansen on April 10, 2014. Senior deputy prosecuting attorneys Val Richey and Corrin Bohn were also present, along with victims' advocates, a court reporter and a Mandarin interpreter, because JW speaks limited English.
JW has always maintained that she has never engaged in sex acts with any customer while working to give massages. But it was recently discovered, and KIRO 7 was the first to report, that hidden cameras resembling smoke detectors recorded activity in two of the massage rooms at Carnation Massage.
During an interview on April 10, Offenbecher showed JW surveillance video he said was taken from one of those hidden cameras in Room B at Carnation. After much questioning, during which JW initially insisted, “That’s not me. That’s not me,” JW eventually admitted the woman in the video seen performing sexual acts on an unidentified man on Oct. 12, 2012, was indeed her.
During the same interview, according to the motion, “JW also admitted that she had been lying all along about being choked and forcibly raped by the Defendant (Grant) in Count 9.”
JW told Grant’s attorney that she also helped Grant get dressed and told him to run away before police arrived the night he was arrested on Sept. 24, 2012, because, “His whole life would be changed. He’s someone who has --- a wife and children, and what are they going to do?”
However, throughout the more than three-hour defense interview, JW maintained that Grant raped her twice. JW told Offenbecher that Grant was armed with a knife that he held to her throat the first time he raped her in early September 2012, represented in court documents as Count 8. JW told Grant’s attorneys, “I thought that I would die – I would --- I would be dead that night,” according to a transcript of the interview. JW said she agreed to “whatever he wanted me to do” that night “because I didn’t want to die.”
During the defense interview, JW said Grant did not have a knife with him during the second alleged rape (Count 9), but “at that time I was worried that he still had a knife with him.”
In the motion, Grant’s attorneys question JW’s credibility as a witness because of her admission, arguing the fact that she “lied is directly relevant to her actions and the credibility of prior inconsistent statements about what happened between her and the Defendant in this case.”
Grant’s attorneys have argued in previous documents that any sexual activity between their client and the five alleged victims, all employees of massage clinics in Seattle, Bellevue and Shoreline, was consensual and not forced. All of the alleged victims are Asian women who speak limited English.
But in a recent Brief filed by the state, DPA Val Richey wrote that Grant, “Used a well-practiced method to forcibly obtain sex from these women and then pretend it was consensual.”
Grant’s trial is scheduled to begin in early May.
As KIRO 7 first reported, surveillance video of what happened between Grant and JW during counts 8 and 9 was recorded over before police or prosecutors could seize it as evidence.