News

Guilty verdict returned in rape case

By Kevin Hanson

The Courier-Herald

A jury believed an Enumclaw woman who claimed she had been raped, finding one of her co-workers guilty last week in King County Superior Court.

The jury returned its verdict July 6, finding Jose Mendoza-Garcia guilty of two counts of second-degree rape. The defendant had maintained there had been no sexual contact between the two.

According to papers filed by the King County Prosecutor's Office, the victim arrived at the Enumclaw Community Hospital emergency room about 2:15 the morning of May 3, 2003, stating she had been raped.

The victim told investigators she had invited some co-workers to her Porter Street home and that alcohol had been consumed. When Mendoza-Garcia appeared too intoxicated to drive, he was given a couch to sleep on, she said.

She said the defendant fondled her from behind and that she was able to push him away. When she went to a bedroom to get a sleeping bag, the defendant followed her. According to the victim's report, the suspect then grabbed her hair, pushed her onto a bed, pulled her pants down and raped her twice.

After she told the defendant she was going to call the police, he apologized for his actions and left, the victim said.

Two days later, three members of the Enumclaw Policed Department traveled to the South Seattle business where both the victim and suspect worked. They contacted Mendoza-Garcia and returned him to the Enumclaw station, where he told a different story.

The suspect claimed the Enumclaw woman made sexual advances, which he declined.

Lt. Eric Sortland of the Enumclaw Police Department said an interesting factor in the case was DNA evidence was used to help convict Mendoza-Garcia.

Kevin Hanson can be reached at khanson@courierherald.com

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