UPDATE: Madison Middle School teacher placed on leave 7 months after he was charged with rape pleads guilty to reduced charge

11:11 AM: This week, Madison Middle School teacher Darren D. Hunter was placed on administrative leave because of a rape charge filed against him seven months ago. We received an anonymous tip about this earlier this week; here’s what we have since found out.

Hunter, 51, was charged in February with third-degree rape because of an incident at his home in Kent in August of last year involving a then-43-year-old woman he had been dating. The court documents say she contacted police in November to say he had raped her in August, via sexual contact to which she did not give consent. The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office tells WSB the charge was filed shortly after they got case information from Kent Police in February. Hunter appeared at an arraignment hearing after the charge was filed but remained out of custody on personal recognizance. The case has been making its way through the system ever since and is slated for another hearing today, at which the case might be resolved via a plea agreement.

We asked Seattle Public Schools several questions about the situation and district policy on Tuesday. So far, this is the only response we’ve received, from assistant superintendent Beverly Redmond:

On Sunday, Sept. 18, Seattle Public Schools became aware that the employee had been arraigned in February on charges that stemmed from an August 2021 incident when school was not in session. The alleged incident did not involve a minor or take place on school property. The employee was immediately placed on administrative leave on Monday, Sept. 19.

Our source says that the district was notified by a community member who saw a social-media post about the charge against Hunter. So we’ve also asked the district some policy questions, such as what the policy is for notification – how should they have been notified that he had been charged with a felony sex crime? We’ve found some general district policies online here, but they don’t appear to address that particular question. We’ll update when we hear back, as well as when we get information on what happens at this afternoon’s hearing.

1:30 PM: SPS has responded this afternoon to other questions we also asked yesterday. Regarding notification, “The district has an agreement with local law enforcement to work together on cases involving child sexual abuse or assault. In all other instances, the district is not notified directly. SPS is working on self-reporting guidelines, which would be a change in working conditions and be bargained across all labor partners.” Hunter’s future status will be determined by the district per this policy below:

Certificated staff may be disciplined for engaging in unprofessional conduct according to School Board Policies 5280 and 5281.

Conduct violations that are contrary to the core values of the Seattle School District and involve a substantial risk of the safety of students, families, staff or the public including acts of serious misconduct or of acts of criminal conduct could disqualify an employee from continued employment. Convictions of crimes under RCW 28A.400.322, (see crimes listed below) or a crime that is directly related to the position held by the employee or impacts the employee’s ability to perform his or her job duties are subject to termination. Crimes outside of the ones listed below are handled on a case-by-case decision based on what the criminal charges are.

(a) Any felony crime involving the physical neglect of a child under chapter 9A.42 RCW;
(b) The physical injury or death of a child under chapter 9A.32 or 9A.36 RCW, except motor vehicle violations under chapter 46.61 RCW;
(c) Sexual exploitation of a child under chapter 9.68A RCW;
(d) Sexual offenses under chapter 9A.44 RCW where a minor is the victim;
(e) Promoting prostitution of a minor under chapter 9A.88 RCW;
(f) The sale or purchase of a minor child under RCW 9A.64.030;
(g) Violation of laws of another jurisdiction that are similar to those specified in (a) through (f) of this subsection.

(2) RCW 28A.400.320, 28A.400.330, 28A.405.470, * 28A.410.090

(3), 28A.410.110, 9.96A.020, and 43.43.845 apply upon a guilty plea or conviction occurring on or after July 26, 2009, for any of the following felony crimes or attempts, conspiracies, or solicitations to commit any of the following felony crimes:

(a) A felony violation of RCW 9A.88.010, indecent exposure;
(b) A felony violation of chapter 9A.42 RCW involving physical neglect;
(c) A felony violation of chapter 9A.32 RCW;
(d) A violation of RCW 9A.36.011, assault 1; 9A.36.021, assault 2; 9A.36.120, assault of a child 1; 9A.36.130, assault of a child 2; or any other felony violation of chapter 9A.36 RCW involving physical injury except assault 3 where the victim is eighteen years of age or older;
(e) A sex offense as defined in RCW 9.94A.030;
(f) A violation of RCW 9A.40.020, kidnapping 1; or 9A.40.030, kidnapping 2;
(g) A violation of RCW 9A.64.030, child selling or child buying;
(h) A violation of RCW 9A.88.070, promoting prostitution 1;
(i) A violation of RCW 9A.56.200, robbery 1; or
(j) A violation of laws of another jurisdiction that are similar to those specified in (a) through (i) of this subsection.

The district says Madison families were sent a letter this morning about the situation.

4:30 PM UPDATE: Prosecuting Attorney’s Office spokesperson Casey McNerthney says Hunter pleaded guilty this afternoon to a reduced charge of fourth-degree assault with sexual motivation, a gross misdemeanor. McNerthney explains: “After the filing of charges, the defense provided the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office with additional information, including text communications between the victim/survivor and the defendant that occurred after the assault. Based upon this new information and after receiving defense mitigation, the KCPAO believed that a reduction of charge was appropriate. Senior Deputy Prosecutors twice met with the victim/survivor and her advocate to discuss the case and the reduction in charge prior to extending an offer to defense. The victim and an advocate were in court today for Mr. Hunter’s guilty plea.” He will be sentenced later this year.

64 Replies to "UPDATE: Madison Middle School teacher placed on leave 7 months after he was charged with rape pleads guilty to reduced charge"

  • Fed-up Parent September 21, 2022 (11:45 am)

    Why SPS doesn’t run annual background checks on their employees and volunteers is mind blowing.  If it wasn’t for a community member taking notice, would the s*%t show that is SPS have ever become aware they had a potential rapist in their classrooms?  I’m so looking forward to having to talk with my middle schooler about  this.  The  little faith I had in SPS is non-existent at this point.  

    • Me mama September 21, 2022 (12:10 pm)

      Would this have even shown up on a background check?   He hasn’t yet been convicted. 

      • Anon September 21, 2022 (6:30 pm)

        Pending charges do show up on most background checks.  It varies state by state but most will show pending misdemeanor and felonies.  So if SPS ran a check when renewing this teacher’s contract last year, it would have most likely been caught.

    • LJJ September 21, 2022 (12:12 pm)

      He has not been charged with any crime. In our country, a person is innocent unless proven guilty. It’s not acceptable in a civilized society to start lighting torches and calling people rapists at the drop of a hat. I can’t believe WSB is disclosing this person’s name to the public. 

      • WSB September 21, 2022 (12:51 pm)

        Yes, he has been charged with a crime; third-degree rape is a felony. He has not been *convicted*. Our policy is actually stricter than some other news organizations; some publish names of people who have only been arrested, not charged. Our bar is when they have been charged, which means the prosecutor believes there’s enough evidence that a person will be found guilty (the next step is the case resolution, either via a jury verdict – not guilty or guilty – or a guilty plea) – TR

        • Olive September 21, 2022 (1:26 pm)

          I hope your BAR can be a bit more flexible.  This teacher’s name is now out there. It’s hard not to find this quite tawdry on your part.  

          • Jethro Marx September 21, 2022 (5:03 pm)

            He was charged with rape and is on non-voluntary leave, how shall we keep it secret and non-tawdry at the same time?

          • T September 22, 2022 (6:08 am)

            Am I missing something? Didn’t he plead guilty to a crime of assault with sexual motivation? 

    • Neighbor September 21, 2022 (12:36 pm)

      If he is found innocent will you follow-up with your middle schooler?  Or is this a chance to teach your kids about the court of public opinion?

      • revilor September 21, 2022 (2:22 pm)

        Great question, I would like to know the answer to that too.

      • Fed-up Parent September 21, 2022 (2:30 pm)

        Yeah my comment was more aimed at SPS not realizing this teacher had 3 degree rape charges against him in the first place, not his guilt or innocence.  I talk to my child about predators and personal safety all the time but I never thought to explain that school system doesn’t have adequate checks in place to ensure potential predators are flagged.  It’s more that this person was in the classroom for months and SPS had no idea.  Innocent until proven guilty is all good, but if he is found guilty are we ok having allowed him to stay in school while he was awaiting trial?  The teacher should have disclosed this to his supervisor and been put on paid administrative leave as a precaution until this was sorted out.  Btw the WSB reported that he might take a plea, which is an admission of guilt.  So I’m not assuming he is guilty but that doesn’t sound like nothing. 

        • Neighbor September 21, 2022 (4:54 pm)

          A plea deal is an admission of guilt but it doesn’t make it honest.  Plea deals are often offered with much shorter sentences or lesser crimes.  Going to trial could result in a much longer sentence.  If given the choice between a couple years in prison and probation or a chance at decades many people choose to just serve the time.  Plea deals are a miscarriage of justice in my opinion.  Without a trial we never actually go through the adversarial process of revealing the truth.  When someone signs a plea deal we learn nothing.  If this man really is guilty I’d prefer he serves the full sentence, rather than getting a cushy deal for saving the prosecutor the effort of going to trial.

        • Neighbor September 21, 2022 (5:06 pm)

          I missed the update and can’t edit my previous comment.  Hunter pled to a lesser crime and will be sentenced to that.  He will serve time for a gross misdemeanor, but not for rape.  So either he is innocent but the prosecutor used the threat of a rape conviction to get a plea or he is guilty and is getting a generous deal to save the prosecutor time.  Personally I don’t think either one are just.  If the prosecutor thinks this man really committed rape why would they seek a lesser sentence?  If they are willing to accept a lesser sentence do they really believe he is guilty of rape?

      • Fed-up parent September 21, 2022 (5:54 pm)

        My conversation with my middle schooler was not about predators or sexual assault but more about what protocols are in place to make sure predators aren’t in the classroom and how those can fail.  I think if someone is charged with this kind of crime (and now guilty of lesser crimes) he shouldn’t be in the class but he was for MONTHS!  I think that would shock most parents but kids in particular wouldn’t think this was plausible.  That is the convo I had with my kid, but thanks for assuming it was a “grab the torches” type convo!

      • Melissa Westbrook September 21, 2022 (8:38 pm)

        So the West Seattle blog was NOT the only ones who knew this. I was investigating it myself and yes, I was going to be doing the same thing. Newspapers report arrests all the time and do NOT wait until a final conviction. You all know that.

    • Al King September 21, 2022 (1:28 pm)

      Fed-up Parent. “Guilty until proven innocent” is important to you because????? If that finger was pointed at YOU it would be ok???? People MUST be held accountable for their actions but facts and evidence actually is important to most of us. Sorry to inform you but the rule of law actually is important.

      • Fed up parent September 21, 2022 (3:06 pm)

        As the WSB stated, enough evidence was presented that the prosecutor brought charges and while that is not a guilty verdict, it doesn’t mean this individual should be left unattended in a classroom with kids. Paid administrative leave is how this should have been handled and it should have been caught with yearly background checks in the fall, not by a tip from about a social media post.   No where in my post did I say this teacher was guilty, but while he is awaiting trial he shouldn’t be teaching.   I’m not arguing for or against this individual but against the screening system that doesn’t catch this so it can be handled in a way that doesn’t potentially put kids at risk. 

    • Rara September 21, 2022 (4:00 pm)

      Every employee gets screened for that. Also any volunteer does as well. They do background checks. And upon employment get fingerprinted. But I’m not sure if teachers are screened yearly. I know volunteers are. I was employed by the school district for a while and even though I was an employee because I volunteered sometimes at the school and they did a background check on me to every year. 

      • teacher September 21, 2022 (7:28 pm)

        Teachers are not screened yearly. He should have been on administrative leave.

  • Me mama September 21, 2022 (12:11 pm)

    Hey Fed Up, I volunteer and they run annual background checks on me- so I’m sure they do .  But typical Seattleite, quick to blame the district.

    • Fed-up parent September 21, 2022 (2:11 pm)

      Hey Me Mama, I also volunteer in the schools and know SPS does not run background checks on volunteers on a yearly basis.  Out of state volunteers are checked every 2 years.   I have been checked twice in the 8 years I’ve been in the schools and I have often been unattended with kids/in charge of teaching classes!  Might want to check those facts before telling me I don’t check mine.  You go on ahead and trust in a system that repeatedly fails our kids! 

      • Me mama September 21, 2022 (3:56 pm)

        I know for a fact I am checked annually but it does depend on the role.   Hard to believe you’ve been left in charge to teach a class.  For every terrible thing that happens in this large system, thousands of excellent ones happen too. 

      • Smoosh September 21, 2022 (5:56 pm)

        Claiming you have been in charge of a classroom as a volunteer is completely untrue and invalidates any other point you hope to make. How would the district find out about this accusation?  Hire even more admin staff to cross check any bookings or filings against a staff roster weekly?  Come on. 

        • Fed up Parent September 21, 2022 (6:20 pm)

          Smoosh, do you need me to provide the details of the school and the classrooms I’ve been left alone in?   I taught a specialty class during the regular school day at one of our neighborhood schools and was in charge of 15 kids for many semesters as a volunteer.  Staff went in and out of the room at various times but there was never complete supervision.  I’m not saying any of this to throw the teachers under the bus, I volunteer numerous hours because I believe in public education and want to support the boots on the ground. But there are obviously holes in the supposed safety net.  If staff aren’t background checked every August before a single child enters a classroom, then the district has room for improvement.  No where did I claim it needs to be weekly.  That’s extreme and ridiculous! But for SPS to find out through a tip from someone who saw a social media post… that is even more ridiculous. 

          • WSparent September 21, 2022 (11:38 pm)

            If you were left in classrooms by yourself as a volunteer, which should have not happened, I sure hope you alerted the administration of the school. What did YOU do to remedy or report this unsafe practice since you clearly knew it was wrong? 

  • hj September 21, 2022 (12:22 pm)

    I’m so looking forward to having to talk with my middle schooler about  this

    Speaking to your children about predators seems like a basic part of a parent’s job, regardless of the SPS situation.

    • Fed-up Parent September 21, 2022 (6:07 pm)

      I have talked with my kids about predators and sexual assault numerous times, that is not the conversation I was referring to.   It’s the “your school had a potential criminal teaching for half a year and had no idea this person was accused of a crime” convo.  Kids should know just how much faith they can put into their schools when they are told it’s a “safe space”: 

  • Ban the box September 21, 2022 (12:32 pm)

    The teacher has not been convicted of a crime and the allegation doesn’t involve a minor or anything related to school, so why would this jeopardize his job?

    • newnative September 21, 2022 (12:49 pm)

      Um, because he was charged with a felony? 

      • Justice For All September 21, 2022 (2:36 pm)

        So simply having an accusation, founded in truth or not, should cost someone (almost alway male btw) their job?  Even before a verdict of guilty or not?  You may not be aware of this, but several large-scale studies show that false accusations of sexual misconduct can make up to 50% of all accusations.  The loss of a person’s reputation, livelihood and future job prospects should not be the automatic and first result of what can be (and often is) simply a fabrication by an aggrieved party.

        • wscommuter September 21, 2022 (2:58 pm)

          “… several large-scale studies show that false accusations can make up to 50% of all accusations.”  Please do cite your large-scale studies.  That’s a pretty outrageous (and untrue) statement to make.  I’m waiting for your details.  

          • Jort September 21, 2022 (3:02 pm)

            You’re going to have to wait for a very, very long time because what this person said is not true, and they will not be able to cite these “large-scale” studies, because they don’t exist. 

        • Zark00 September 21, 2022 (3:10 pm)

          Lol, no idea where you’re getting your stats, but you are WILDLY incorrect. No studies agree 💯 n a percentage of false allegations, but the range is 2% to 10%. 50% is embarrassingly inaccurate.

        • Anonymous September 21, 2022 (3:29 pm)

          He is on administrative leave and his job is not lost.  He worked for months last year with these charges against him. Also according to RAINN, “out of every 1000 instances of rape, only 13 cases will be referred to a prosecutor, and only 7 will lead to conviction.”  The majority of rape claims will never even make it to court which means if charges were brought against this teacher there is ample evidence. It’s not just some finger pointing and our students shouldn’t be placed in the middle of this. 

        • Smoosh September 21, 2022 (5:58 pm)

          The reason it’s almost always males accused of rape is because us males do almost all of the raping and violence. You make that statement like it’s evidence of how hard men have it in our little patriarchy and the other way around as is the actual problem. 

        • Melissa Westbrook September 21, 2022 (8:41 pm)

          Do tell- please give us links to that. Because most research shows rape to be underreported.

          • Survivor September 23, 2022 (9:37 pm)

            The truth is, the vast majority of men who perpetrate attacks and abuses on women and children get away with it, without accusations and reports ever being made. Far too often, women aren’t believed when they should be. Women are afraid to speak up because of this, and because of other power differentials in various situations, and sometimes because of fear and intimidation and emotional abuse tactics used against them.

            Please don’t allow the few exceptions to discredit the majority of victims.

      • MD September 24, 2022 (11:21 pm)

        It’s not a felony. Unfortunately, it’s a gross misdemeanor. 

  • oerthehill September 21, 2022 (3:28 pm)

    Sad to see an excellent teacher who just may well be innocent get dragged through the mud by a potentially false accuser. So let’s not throw him to the curb until we get more info. There are many false accusers out there.

    • MeToo September 21, 2022 (4:30 pm)

      This. This right here is why women don’t come forward. What do you think there are more of? False accusers or victims?

    • Seriously? September 21, 2022 (5:30 pm)

      So sad this teacher’s reputation got dragged through the mud, but not sad that his behavior was something even remotely close to being construed as a crime?  Turns out, he plead guilty of assault with sexual motives so are you still sad for this person? Is anyone sad for the person on the other side of this crime?

    • parent September 21, 2022 (7:35 pm)

      If a judge thought charging him was appropriate, he is not a stellar person. And he was teaching special ed students. I am mad that he is giving teachers bad press. Any guy accused of rape and charged is an a$$hole. 

    • nope September 21, 2022 (7:44 pm)

      Was he really excellent? Excellent people are not charged and take a plea deal. I don’t want a person charged with sexual assault around kids.

  • Wtf? September 21, 2022 (4:14 pm)

    Why are there so many rape apologists in this comment section?? Have none of you stopped and realized that in “protecting this teachers innocence”, someone who is CHARGED with felony rape, you are actually insinuating that the woman he raped is lying? What benefits does this woman get by lying about this? The criminal justice system absolutely does not prioritize prosecuting sexual violence so when they do actually charge someone, that means they’re confident in their ability to prosecute. There was a huge report that the Seattle Times published that showed that NO ONE in SPD had been investigating ANY sexual violence reports for the past year. If Kent PD pressed charges, that means they are confident in his guilt. I am saying all of this as a survivor of sexual violence myself, one that I reported and was gaslit and ignored. You all should be ashamed of yourselves. Your insistence that there are “false accusers” out there is a dangerous and extremely disingenuous misdirect from the actual issue. There is no actual study or proof to back up that claim, there is only people scared of how their misconduct might be interpreted. You are telling on yourself by claiming there are false accusers, or that the majority of reports are false. Again, shame on you. 

    • Justice For All September 21, 2022 (4:35 pm)

      Nobody is a “rape apologist” here, and you should be ashamed of yourself for resorting to such low-grade ad hominem dismissals of opposing views.  Painting people who simply believe that a higher bar of proof than “someone made an accusation” should exist as “rape apologists” is simply your liberal way of ignoring real, serious, life-altering social issues in favor of affirming your unexamined biases, in this case “women can’t possibly be wrong so let’s instantly pillory anyone who they decide to point a finger at”.

      • Survivor September 24, 2022 (8:58 am)

        ‘…. anyone who they decide to point a finger at’

        What a gross misrepresentation of women.

        There may be a few false accusations that happen out there, but from my understanding, that is not common. Why would a woman put herself through all that, reporting something falsely and all that follows from that? It doesn’t make sense.

        It’s much more likely that women choose not to report things, because of fear, shame, and and discomfort, than falsely reporting things.

        Men who feel the need to invalidate women who may have such complaints against men, may have personal reasons for this.

    • Scarlett September 21, 2022 (5:07 pm)

      Stop with the despicable “rape apologist” shaming.  No one is condoning rape, but some here don’t like the the mob mentality with pitchforks either.   Would you, if you were accused of a heinous crime and were potentially innocent?  Yes, he is still innocent until proven guilty, and no amount of shaming from you will change that fact.  

    • Mike September 21, 2022 (5:08 pm)

      We live in interesting times.  If there’s enough to charge them with a serious crime like rape, I’d wait to apologize until they’re found not guilty.  Even pedophiles are being called MAPs (Minor Attracted Person’s) now to appease people who blame victims first.  VICTIMS are innocent until proven guilty of filing false reports.  Let’s look at it that way.

      • Neighbor September 21, 2022 (5:27 pm)

        Should the victim in this case be put on administrative leave then?  You aren’t making a lot of sense.

    • Another One September 21, 2022 (9:32 pm)

      Yes, there are a lot of rape apologists on this thread. And it’s gross. To even get to the point of an arrest in a rape case, there has to be a massive amount of evidence. Working with children should be a very high bar and standard. Funny how people who go on about the local justice system not locking up enough people charged with crimes suddenly trust the system and want to keep a man in a classroom with vulnerable children because he’s innocent until proven guilty. Because we don’t want to ruin someone’s reputation. 

      • CAM September 21, 2022 (11:04 pm)

        Haven’t you heard? Those women are really sneaky and vengeful and just out to trap you. They’re so obsessed with these men that they’ll destroy their lives for years and put themselves through brutal questioning and cross examination repeatedly from defense attorneys and “investigators” and others just to get back at these men because these men are so amazing that nobody can stop thinking about them ever. 

  • WS Blog Reader September 21, 2022 (4:37 pm)

    I love the WS Blog. Sadly I don’t love the comments trashing a teacher who has reached a plea deal. The guy has passed several polygraphs, yet nobody tells that side. He’s no longer charged with a felony, but that isn’t being told. He probably can’t ever return to his job or WS because he’s guilty in the public eye, even though there is no felony on his record and he’s worked tirelessly at Madison since 2005. The district will review this in the coming months and hopefully the truth will come out. Let’s not condemn him yet, and let’s also not claim the victim is lying. Those are both very dangerous and naive. Let the process play out because in the end, the evidence and charges can change. He’s not a convicted felon and shame on everybody who assumes otherwise.

    • WS parent September 21, 2022 (5:09 pm)

      He was charged with a felony, but took a deal. Criminals do this all the time. They take a deal to avoid facing more prison time.  I’m sorry but any teacher with sexually motivated charges should not be in a classroom.  Everyone failed to mention that he is a special education teacher. this is even more concerning and disturbing that he has been working with vulnerable students. 

    • Smoosh September 21, 2022 (6:03 pm)

      His plea deal entails admitting guilt for the crime. Good grief. He did it and admitted it and used a maneuver to avoid much of any jail time. This isn’t some poor kid in the south being misled by a crumby Public defender, this is a middle class man with resources taking the easiest path out of a terrible situation he perpetuated. 

      • Scarlett September 22, 2022 (3:54 pm)

        Do you understand how our legal system works and the many, many reason why someone, even if not guilty, would plead to a lesser crime?  

    • CAM September 21, 2022 (11:00 pm)

      Polygraphs are not admissible as evidence in court for very good reasons. They prove only a person’s ability to control their emotional reactivity to external stimuli. You know who’s really good at that? People who don’t have emotional reactions to breaking the law or hurting other people. You know who “fails” polygraphs? People with anxiety disorders or other mental health conditions. People with lower cognitive functioning who get confused and distressed. 

  • WSB September 21, 2022 (4:39 pm)

    I have updated the story with information just received from the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office regarding today’s hearing. – TR

    • GAnative September 21, 2022 (5:09 pm)

      To everyone bashing the WSB for reporting his name. The info was already out there. I saw this story with his name and picture on King5 news at 6am this morning. 

  • Concerned September 21, 2022 (5:15 pm)

    So it sounds like there was some crime committed otherwise why take a plea bargain?  Not sure I’d want this teacher, no matter how long they have taught or how wildly popular he is, to teach my kids if he admitted guilt to assault 4 with sexual motivation.  What lesson are we teaching our kids, particularly our female students, if we let this go without repercussions?

    • this! September 21, 2022 (7:41 pm)

      Exactly!

    • Keith September 22, 2022 (2:16 pm)

      So it sounds like there was some crime committed otherwise why take a plea bargain? “ To get on with your life. Even if you are innocent, in many cases the prospect of spending tons of extra time, money, etc. as your case slogs its way through our judicial system is often less desirable than making some sort of bargain and moving on, immediately.

      • Scarlett September 22, 2022 (8:43 pm)

        And risking a long sentence by putting your life in the hands of a jury.   Not much consolation when you’re sitting in prison for a long sentence that you plead non-guilty. 

    • wscommuter September 22, 2022 (3:59 pm)

      There are complicated reasons why plea bargains occur, and particularly for sex crimes.  For context, when I last knew with certainty many years ago (but I’m sure the statistics remain more or less the same), approximately 93-94% of all criminal cases resolve by way of a plea.  Just facts.  And the reason most do resolve that way is because typically there is very little chance of a defendant prevailing at trial because the evidence is strong so the smart tactical move for the defendant is to take the best deal he/she can get.  For those here who say all crimes should be tried to a jury – you do not understand either the constitution or the logistical truths of our criminal justice system.  When I last knew how many criminal prosecutors work for King County PO, it was approximately 100.  In order to try all the felonies charged, we’d need 1000 prosecutors, 1000 public defenders and about 400-500 more judges (we currently have about 50 superior court judges), plus the 10 more courthouses dotted around to try all those cases.  Who is going to pay those taxes?  Which, of course, will never happen, nor should it.  People who ignorantly complain here that prosecutors are lazy or scared or whatever and give out cushy plea deals are completely disconnected from reality.  Sex crimes, the subject here, are actually incredibly difficult to prosecute.  It is rare to have good forensic evidence in a rape/molestation case.  Most cases boil down to a witness credibility battle between accuser and defendant.  Unfortunately, all too often, juries will not believe a victim when they can put some degree of blame on the victim (“she shouldn’t have been drinking so much/using drugs/been dressed provocatively/been at that party”, etc.).  When it is a credibility call, often victims aren’t believed.  My own experience in this area taught me that many legitimate victims are often not believed by juries.  And that hard truth leads to very difficult conversations prosecutors sometimes have to have with victims when they seek input on a plea deal – telling a victim that he/she may not be believed, but a plea to a lesser charge may obtain some consequence to the offender even if not the full consequence one might otherwise want.  These are incredibly difficult circumstances and the glib criticisms I read here of why a plea deal occurred are disappointing for their lack of facts and context.  I have no idea about what happened in this particular case.  But I also know no one else commenting here does either.  Which is worth remembering.  

  • Former MMS student September 24, 2022 (8:50 pm)

    He worked there while I was a student, I’m thankful I didn’t interact with him much if at all. This gives me chills.

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