Suspect says he groped teen for thrill but ‘not a closet rapist'

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CHEHALIS, Wash. - A 26-year-old man accused of groping a teenager in the parking lot of a Chehalis Walmart said he did it for the thrill but is “not a closet rapist.”

 

Garret Larson admitted to KIRO 7 Eyewitness News reporter Richard Thompson during an interview at the Lewis County Jail that he approached the girl Saturday and grabbed her breasts and buttocks.

 

"In an instant I thought to myself, 'I could grab this girl and just get away with it,'" said Larson.

 

The 16-year-old victim said the man pushed her against a vehicle and she believed he was trying to abduct her.

 

"I did use both hands. I didn't use any force. I didn't throw her up against the car," said Larson.

 

Police said they could understand why the girl thought Larson was trying to kidnap her.

 

“She was terrified. She initially thought because of the manner she was grabbed and pressed up against the car that he was trying to push her into a car or take her with him,” said Chehalis Police Chief Glenn Schaffer.

 

The girl, who was with a 19-year-old friend, broke free.  The two found a Chehalis police officer who was in the parking lot who then stopped Larson and took him into custody.

 

Larson told Thompson he knew what he did was wrong, and he did it for the thrill, but had no intention of abducting or raping the girl.

 

"For me, it was the thrill of the action itself, you know what I mean," said Larson.

 

Larson, who is on active duty in the Air Force in Virginia, was in Chehalis visiting family.  He has a wife and child.

 

 Prosecutors said there is no evidence to show Larson intended to abduct the girl but he could still face life in prison if convicted of the felony of indecent liberties with forceable compulsion.

 

“I’m not a bad guy. I’m not a rapist. I’m not a closet rapist. I just made a stupid choice,” said Larson.