• Sex offender arrested in 2006 rape of Seattle 12-year-old

    By: Amy Clancy

    Updated:

    On one of the busiest nights of the year in Downtown Seattle --- the night of the annual Torchlight Parade in 2006 -- a 12-year old girl was allegedly raped by an unknown man recently identified as Robert Joe Childs.

    According to documents filed this week in King County Superior Court, the victim was a runaway "asking for people to help find her mother when she asked an unknown man if she could use his cellphone."  

    That man then "pulled" the girl into an alley near 6th Avenue and Yesler Way where he allegedly raped her.

    DNA evidence was collected that evening at Harborview Medical Center but not tested until late 2018 because of Washington State's rape kit backlog.

    State Representative, Democrat Tina Orwall of Des Moines, is sponsoring legislation this session to hopefully clear the nearly 8,000 rape kits still waiting to be tested.

    During a recent interview with KIRO 7, Rep Orwall said "right now, when a kit comes in, it's taking 8-months to a year" to test.  "And that's a lot of time."

    Cold cases, however, are being processed even more slowly, including the one that just lead to registered sex offender Childs, who has "a long history of committing sexual assault" according to Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Emily Petersen.

    Childs was arrested in Florida earlier this week and is now charged with raping the 12-year old girl in Seattle, 12-years ago.

    Mary Ellen Stone, Executive Director of the King County Sexual Assault Resource Center recently told KIRO 7, it is imperative the state end its rape kit backlog now.  

    "It's part of sending the message of saying, 'if this happens to you and you go and get an exam to collect evidence, we are going to make sure that we treat this respectfully and efficiently,'" Stone said in January.

    According to charging documents, "The State (Washington) believes it will need to extradite the defendant back to King County" to face trial.


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