• Prosecutor: DNA links two felons to Capitol Hill rape

    By: Natasha Chen


    SEATTLE - The King County prosecutor has charged two men with raping a woman in Capitol Hill in February, after DNA obtained in her rape kit came back matching the men who had previously been convicted of other crimes.

    Kirose Embza Hailu, 23, and Wolid Jemal Mohammed, 22, are also accused of what prosecutors call a disturbing pattern of targeting women in Capitol Hill for purses and wallets.

    The alleged rape victim told police she had been at R Place with her boyfriend and friends the night of Feb. 21.

    They stayed until the establishment closed at 2 a.m., then went to Hot Mamma’s Pizza nearby. Her boyfriend told police at about 2:30 a.m., they realized she was not with them and tried to contact her with no success.

    The victim told police she remembers pulling herself along a railing in an alley, when two men approached her and raped her. She added that a homeless man then found her and helped her find her apartment.Her wallet was missing after the incident.She was later taken to Harborview Medical Center for a sexual assault exam.

    On July 23, the Washington State Patrol crime lab obtained two profiles from the DNA recovered in that exam, matching Hailu and Mohammed, according to charging documents.In November, Seattle police handed the case over to the King County prosecutor, who charged the men in December. Hailu and Mohammed were already in jail, charged with identity theft.

    The charging documents for that case states they have a “rapidly recurring criminal behavior” in the “predatory thefts from women on Seattle’s Capitol Hill.”

    In an incident on Oct. 6, they are accused of targeting a woman filling up her gas tank at the Shell station at 1500 Broadway. Police said they got on both sides of the woman’s car, managed to unlock all the doors and stole her wallet from inside the car.

    Her card was used at a nearby Walgreens and QFC for nearly $100 worth of purchases.In August, Hailu was charged with  theft when he and an accomplice hugged a woman at East Pine and 10th Avenue, called her by a false name as if they knew her, and stole her wallet.Hailu was caught the same night, when minutes after the incident, he allegedly led police on a chase.

    Seattle police said they found crack cocaine in the car, which was not registered to him.Mohammed is named in two Seattle Municipal Court theft cases from September and November. In each case, the victims were women.

    Hailu was previously convicted of ID theft in 2013 when he was caught using stolen credit cards within an hour after they were taken in a strong-armed robbery.

    He was also convicted of two robbery cases as a juvenile.Mohammed was previously convicted of taking a motor vehicle, a case in which he distracted the male victim while a group of people beat the man. 

    He has also been convicted of escaping a work release.Mohammed had served time for these crimes and Hailu was on community custody when the 2014 incidents occurred. 

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