Many criminal cases are resolved without ever going to trial. So it’s notable that the trial has just begun in a case previously covered here. The defendant is Chayce Hanson, on trial for charges including rape and witness tampering.
The addition of the latter charge was the last time we mentioned the case, almost two years ago. Since then, the case has proceeded slowly through the system, with multiple trial dates set, then delayed, due to a variety of factors, but it’s remained on our watch list, and the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office confirms the tip we received from multiple readers, that Hanson’s trial is under way, with opening statements yesterday.
Hanson, 43, is charged with raping a 41-year-old woman described as a longtime acquaintance in February 2017 in West Seattle. Charging documents say Hanson raped her while she was unable to speak because of an untreated head injury suffered in an unreported crash in his vehicle hours earlier. The second charge alleges Hanson tried to get the victim to sign a document saying the rape didn’t happen. Before trial, court documents show, charges of assault and hit-and-run were added to the case.
Hanson has a high-profile conviction in his past, for killing his girlfriend’s 2-year-old daughter in Renton in 2000. A state Supreme Court ruling overturned his murder conviction and he subsequently pleaded guilty to manslaughter.