As promised, we followed up with the City Attorney’s Office regarding the status of Ryan Joshua Cox, the 31-year-old man arrested last week in connection with the anti-gay graffiti that had appeared in several spots around West Seattle, most notably and repeatedly a Morgan Junction couple’s garage door. Assistant city attorney Beth Gappert, who prosecutes cases in this area from her base at the Southwest Precinct, confirms that Cox is charged with six misdemeanor cases of property destruction-graffiti. He will not be prosecuted for malicious harassment, the felony that would indicate a hate crime; Gappert tells WSB, “The detective assigned to the case and I reviewed the evidence that was gathered as part of this incident. Based upon that, we determined the evidence was insufficient to prove that Mr. Cox acted ‘because of his perception of the victim’s race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or mental, physical, or sensory handicap’ per RCW 9A.36.080 (the Malicious Harassment statute).” So the case was not referred to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. Cox is still jailed in lieu of $5,000 bail (upped last week, as reported here), according to the King County Jail Register. The Municipal Court website indicates another hearing is scheduled in his case tomorrow.
West Seattle, Washington