She was 18 years old, charged with a gross misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail. Her case was one of 4,859 filed in 2008 in Lynnwood Municipal Court, a place where the judge says the goal is “to correct behavior — to make Lynnwood a better, safer, healthier place to live, work, shop and visit.” But her misdemeanor had made the news, and made her an object of curiosity or, worse, scorn. The woman told Galbraith she was 26 years old, an engineering student on winter break from a nearby college. From a large black bag, he took out thigh-high stockings, clear plastic high heels with pink ribbons, lubrication, a box of moist towelettes and bottled water. He documented the assault with a digital camera and threatened to post the pictures online if she contacted the police. She clearly remembered one physical detail about him: a dark mark on his left calf the size of an egg. Those investigations often boiled down to an issue of consent. Rapes by strangers were uncommon — about 13 percent of cases.
It had cost her the newfound independence she was savoring after a life in foster homes. Each ring of the phone seemed to announce another friendship, lost. Galbraith spotted the victim standing in the thin sunlight outside her ground floor apartment. She had been alone in her apartment the previous evening. Afterward, he ordered her to brush her teeth and wash herself in the shower. Galbraith listened to the woman with a sense of alarm. The woman underwent a special forensic examination to collect more DNA evidence. But there was still the issue of the woman’s story. Or fabricating a ruse to cover a sexual encounter gone wrong?
Case managers would show participants the dos and don’ts of shopping for groceries, handling a credit card, buying insurance. Best of all, Project Ladder provided subsidized housing, with each member getting a one-bedroom apartment. She moved into the Alderbrooke Apartments, a woodsy complex that advertises proximity to a mall and views of the Cascades.
She also landed her first job, offering food samples to customers at Costco. She enjoyed chatting with people, free from pressure to sell.
He suggested she put a dowel into the bottom track to keep out future intruders. Golden and Westminster were middle class bedroom towns wedged between Denver’s downtown skyscrapers and the looming Rockies. As David listened, he realized that the details of the case were unsettlingly familiar. She reports not knowing much about her biological mother, who she said would often leave her in the care of boyfriends. “I moved a lot when I was younger,” Marie says in an interview. About two of those and probably 10 or 11 foster homes.” “I was on like seven different drugs. But on the first day, a support counselor came to the school and told Marie the family had lost its foster care license. Shannon and Marie were both “kind of goofy,” Shannon says. We were a lot alike.” Despite all Marie had been through, “she wasn’t bitter,” Shannon says. But no matter her affection for Marie, Shannon knew they couldn’t keep her, because the foster child already in their home required so much care. Marie was into boys, drawing and music, be it rock, country, or Christian. Marie figures her happiest years were when she was 16 and 17, and the happiest day may have been one she spent with her best friend, another high school student who was teaching Marie the fine points of camerawork.
The victim had described him as a “gentleman,” Galbraith said. He told his wife to call his department first thing in the morning. And Zoloft is an adult drug — I was on that at 8.” Marie has two brothers and a sister on her mother’s side. “We were really sad that we weren’t able to have her with us,” Shannon says. I had a crib — and they gave me a 16-year-old,” Peggy says, with a laugh. I have a background in mental health and I’ve been working with kids for a really long time. “She was very bubbly and full of energy, but she also had her moments where she could be very intense,” Peggy says. She picked out a feminine white coat with a fur collar because she thought that’s what girls were supposed to wear, but then kept the coat in the closet when she realized it wasn’t. “I would spend hours at the beach watching the sunset go down and that was one of my favorite things.
There, a 65-year-old woman told police that she had been raped in her apartment by a man with a black scarf wrapped around his face. He took pictures and threatened to post them on the Internet.
During the attack, he knocked a yellow teddy bear off a desk in her bedroom.
The number of registered sex offenders compared to the number of residents in this city is near the state average.
No one came to court with her that day, except her public defender. Galbraith suggested that she and the victim escape the icy gusts in a nearby unmarked patrol car. Most had been assaulted by a boyfriend, an old flame, or someone they had met at a club. Juries were hesitant to throw someone in prison when it was one person’s word against another’s.