Second man arrested for alleged rape of teen in The Jungle

by: Amy Clancy Updated:

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A second man is behind bars after being accused of raping and trafficking a teenage runaway in Seattle's homeless encampment, known as The Jungle.

Court documents filed in King County Superior Court Thursday allege that 27-year old James Jovanta Walker -- known around the Jungle as "JJ" -- repeatedly raped a then 13-year old runaway from Idaho after he lured her to his tent in the Jungle with the promise of black tar heroin.

Walker is accused of having raped the now-14 year old throughout August, September and October, according to investigators with the Seattle Police Department.

Walker is now behind bars. His alleged victim is back in Idaho.

Seattle Police spokesman Sgt Sean Whitcomb called it “a very significant arrest.”
“Any time we take someone off the streets for abusing a minor, or commercial sex trafficking of a child, it is incredibly gratifying,” he said.

Walker is the second Jungle resident arrested and suspected of sex trafficking a child in recent weeks.

The 47-year old Nghia Nguyen -- known on the streets as "Asian Mike" -- is charged with raping a 16-year old runaway from New Jersey.

>> Read our first investigation here: Jungle resident investigated for raping and trafficking teen runaway

That girl told police Nguyen that held her at gunpoint whenever she tried to leave his tent.

“We take human trafficking very seriously,” Assistant Seattle Police Chief Robert Merner told KIRO 7 last week, “but especially when it involves children.”

>> Read our second investigation here: Jungle rape suspect arrested; multiple teen victims suspected

On February 16, Merner and Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole described the job of rescuing child rape victims in homeless encampments and throughout the city as the SPD's number one priority right now.

In his State of the City address on Tuesday, Mayor Ed Murray said that so far, not enough is being done “for those who have been victims of crimes, like the young teenage girls who have been trapped in encampments and trafficked for sex.”

>> Related: Mayor Murray: City 'not doing enough' for teens trafficked in Jungle

Walker remains in the King County Jail with bail set at $200,000.

His extensive criminal history includes multiple felony convictions for illegal narcotics, domestic violence violation of a court order, four assault convictions, vehicle prowl and more.