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Police: Teenage Greenway rape suspect linked to other attacks

Police: Teenage Greenway rape suspect linked to other attacks

YAKIMA, Wash. - Judges are trying to determine if a 16-year-old charged with rape at the Yakima Greenway should be tried as an adult, following other sexual assault charges.

Police said he attacked and raped a 19-year-old woman while she was running on the Greenway path in November of last year. He is being charged with second degree rape for that assault.

The teen appeared in juvenile court at 1:30 p.m. on new charges Tuesday.

Police said DNA evidence has tied the suspect to other attacks.

Prosecuting Attorney Joe Brusic said the state is now trying to charge the teen with two additional rape charges, first degree rape and attempted rape.

According to police reports, when he was 15 he sexually assaulted and threatened to kill a woman with a rock on the Powerhouse Canal Trail back in March and in May he allegedly tried to rape a woman on the Greenway path but she screamed and was able to get away.

While he is under 18, Brusic said he thinks there is enough evidence to charge him as an adult.

"Instead of automatically transferring him to adult court jurisdiction, we have to go through a hearing which shows that and allows the court to look at all the factors under the law," he said. "There's approximately seven factors that the court would consider."

Brusic said some of those factors include the seriousness of the offense, the teen's prior contact with the court, the environment he lives in and the safety of the public.

"Our number one priority in Yakima County Prosecutor's Office and mine as Yakima County Prosecutor is public safety, at all times," he said. "This is very serious, we are treating this very seriously and we believe that it is appropriate to file the motion for a decline to adult court."

Brusic said a hearing will be held on March 16 to determine if the teen will be tried as an adult.

The judge set the teen's bail for all three charges at $300,000 and the teen's lawyer said it was not likely that he would be posting bail.

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