Friday, July 13, 2007

Principal convicted of rape

A popular Tacoma middle school principal is expected to submit his resignation Monday after being convicted of sexually assaulting a young woman at an after-hours party three years ago.
A Pierce County jury found Harold Wright Jr. guilty of third-degree rape Thursday in the assault on the woman, who was 19 at the time. The jury deliberated for about a day and a half before reaching its verdict.

Wright, 36, served as principal at Baker Middle School from 2002 until he was placed on administrative leave from his $98,000-per-year job in February after being charged in the case, Tacoma School District spokeswoman Leanna Albrecht said.

Albrecht said the district is ready to fire Wright if he doesn’t quit voluntarily. Vice principal Steve Holmes is set to serve as interim principal for the coming school year, pending approval of the School Board, she said.

Wright is to be sentenced Aug. 31 by Superior Court Judge Lisa Worswick. He faces a standard range of six to 12 months in jail.

His co-defendant, Richy Carter, 33, was convicted of the same charge Thursday. Carter, who has a previous felony conviction, faces about 14 months in state prison. He is to be sentenced Aug. 31 as well.

Both will have to register as sex offenders.

Wright shook his head and Carter’s eyes became moist after the jury announced its verdict about noon. Many of the nearly 20 people there to support the men began to cry.

“Stunned is a fair word to use,” Wright’s attorney, Wayne Fricke, said of his reaction to the verdict.

Superior Court Judge Lisa Worswick ordered both men taken into custody.

Wright was released until his sentencing after posting $10,000 bail a short time later. Carter was being held on $20,000 bail until his sentencing.

Both men exchanged handshakes and hugs with supporters before they were led to jail.

Wright and Carter were accused of sexually assaulting the woman at the town house of a friend after meeting her and two of her friends at a Puyallup bar.

The victim, now 23, attended Spanaway Lake High School while Wright worked there as an assistant principal before he joined the Tacoma School District in 2000.

The woman testified she was held down and raped by at least one man, possibly two, in an upstairs bedroom. She couldn’t remember many specific details of the attack during her testimony but was adamant that she did not consent to sex and believed Wright was in the room at the time.

Carter’s DNA was found inside her vagina during a sexual-assault exam later that day, and forensics technicians found DNA consistent with Wright’s on the woman’s breast area.

Carter testified during the nearly three-week trial that he had consensual sex with the woman. Wright testified that he had no sexual contact with her whatsoever. He said his DNA might have gotten on her when he pushed her away from him as she danced close to him wearing only jeans and her bra.

Deputy prosecutor Lori Kooiman, who tried the case along with colleague Kevin McCann, said Thursday it was one of the toughest cases she’s ever brought to trial.

The men initially were charged with second-degree rape. To convict on that charge, jurors would have had to believe Wright and Carter used force or the threat of force to compel the woman to have unwanted sex with them. A conviction on that charge carries a minimum sentence of 61/2 years in prison.

The third-degree rape charge is a lesser crime but still a felony. It required the jury to find only that the men had sex with the victim without her consent or aided someone in such a crime.

Fricke, who talked to jurors after the verdict, said they believed Wright acted as an accomplice.

Judge Worswick allowed jurors to consider the lesser crime at the request of prosecutors. Fricke said that might have been improper and that he might appeal Wright’s conviction on those grounds.

Efforts to talk to Carter’s attorney, Rob Freeby, were unsuccessful.

Jurors – four women and eight men – declined to talk to a reporter as they left the County-City Building.

Adam Lynn: 253-597-8644

6 comments:

Meagan said...

If you think that is bad trying looking at what is posted on Tacoma Dumpster Diving where the superintendent is quesing a Board of Director; Director Miller whether he is hiring sex offenders. Recall Brother Rico? He was affiliated with the Northwest Leadership Foundation.

People should demand that Miller resign!
http://tacomadumpsterdiving.blogspot.com/2007/07/tacoma-public-schools-convicted-sex_8903.html

Anonymous said...

A registered sex offender is locked up again on McNeil Island and the counselor assigned to him is on paid administrative leave after police found the two together in a Lakewood home.

Casper Ross is a registered sex offender, who lives in a special center at McNeil Island. He is allowed to leave for appointments and visits during the day, as long as he is with a counselor and his plan is approved in advance.

The state must also alert local police departments when a convicted sex offender from McNeil Island will be in their jurisdiction. Lakewood Police randomly checks up on these sex offenders to make sure they are where they say they're going to be, when they're supposed to be there and with their counselor.

An officer checked up on Ross Sunday afternoon. He knocked at the door of Ross' cousin's house where he was supposed to be, but nobody answered. A neighbor then told him to look around back. There, the officer found the state van the counselor uses to drive inmates. He again knocked - this time on the back door - but nobody came to the door.

The officer started knocking on the kitchen window, when he saw the female counselor come to the back door. The officer's report states that she appeared disheveled and was fixing her shirt. The officer also said Ross came out a bedroom, adjusting the belt from around his waist.

"There were indications that something was not quite right, when the officer saw these two people," said Lt. Steve Mauer with Lakewood police.

The officer said the relative was not home at the time, contrary to the plan Ross submitted for the visit.

KOMO 4 News went to the cousin's house to ask why, but was turned away at the door.

Casper Ross was convicted of rape with a deadly weapon in 1987. He spent 12 years in prison and now lives at the special commitment center on McNeil Island. He registered as a sex offender in Pierce County four years ago and, during the day, can leave the island with a counselor.

But following Sunday's incident, he will no longer be allowed off the island and will be kept confined, state spokesman Steve Williams told KOMO 4 News. Williams also said the female counselor is on paid administrative leave and under investigation.

Lakewood Police Chief Larry Saunders has written a letter to state officials, demanding answers. Saunders wants answers to the following questions:

Why was the transport van parked out of sight behind the home and not visible for ease of review by our patrol checks?

What was the approved purpose of this visit and if it was a home visit to relatives, why didn't the escort report immediately to supervisors when the relatives were not home and cancel the visit?

Why was Mr. Ross allowed an exclusive relationship with an escort and is there a sexual or other inappropriate relationship between the two?

Anonymous said...

Violent Sexual Predator Demands State employees Records

Richard Roy Scott, convicted child rapist, and resident at the Special Commitment Center on McNeil Island, has been demanding the records of state employees. The Sexual Predator, Scott has used information in the past to harass, intimidate, and embarrass staff members. This behavior on the part of Scott the rapist is just a continuation of his predator act on children in the community. According to many of the clinical staff, the predator, Scott, will act out his sexual behaviors in any way possible, much like the alcoholic who will drink cleaning solutions when booze is not available.
The real question is why the state of Washington allows such a sick mind to have employee documents.

Anonymous said...

McNEIL ISLAND, Wash.-- Joel S. Reimer, 37
Sexually violated a 7-year-old boy in 1982 at age 13.
Raped and assaulted a 13-year-old boy at age 16 in 1985 -- just two weeks after being released for the previous crime.
Molested a 12-year-old girl in 1990 at age 21 -- less than a month after being released on the rape charge.
The Longview native was civilly committed to the state's Special Commitment Center in 1992 as the 10th man sent there. He was the first from Cowlitz County. He successfully sued the state, claiming he didn't receive adequate mental health treatment in the original Special Commitment Center. The center was located inside two state prisons before the opening of the current facility on McNeil Island in 2005. Won a $10,000 settlement but not his freedom.

Anonymous said...

Sex Offenders Beg For Cash

Is Lifers Union Advocacy Group (http://www.lifersunion.org/ ) just a front organization for sex predators housed at the McNeil Island Special Commitment Center?
Lifers Union Advocacy Group (LUAG) states:
Lifers Union Advocacy Group (LUAG) is organized exclusively for charitable, educational, and literary purposes, Lifers Union Advocacy Group is organized for the purposes of sponsoring and contributing to activists and/or organizations working toward the betterment in family and otherwise social contacts for individuals incarcerated in prisons and/or mental hospitals nationwide;
This is from the web-page of the group and this is from the web-page of DSHS which keeps this group off the streets:
The Special Commitment Center Program, operated by the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS), provides a specialized mental health treatment program for civilly committed sex offenders who have completed their prison sentences.
The civil commitment process is under the authority of the superior court in the county where an individual was previously convicted of sex crimes. Only sex offenders whom the court finds to meet the legal definition of a sexually violent predator may be civilly committed to the Special Commitment Center (SCC).
Public safety is the central purpose of the Community Protection Act of 1990. In each of its facilities, the Special Commitment Center Program employs a variety of stringent public safety and security measures to provide for the community's safety.

Yes, the men who operate Lifers Union Advocacy Group are sexually violent predators, the worst of the worst, men like Kevin Coe, the South Hill Rapist, Richard Roy Scott the untreated child rapists, Joel S. Reimer child raper who, if released in the morning would be raping before night fall.
How is it that this group is allowed to use the internet to continue their sex offending ways? The men who run this group are strong-arming weaker inmates, forcing them to give up monies for their personal cause.
The members of Lifers Union Advocacy Group are nothing more then sex predators using the net to offend. Joel S. Reimer aka Jayzack j.s.White Crow-reimer, a man so sick he has been locked away for the last 17 years still finds time to abuse other less able inmates. This rapist is the leader of the newsletter, and must be stopped.

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