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Sexual assault leads to calls for closing King County Courthouse

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King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn has called to close the King County Courthouse, Administration Building, Chinook Building and City Hall Park to the public following a series of crimes in City Hall Park and most recently, a sexual assault that occurred within the courthouse.

On July 29, a 35-year-old man entered the courtroom with what he would later tell Seattle police investigators was the intent to rape.

He waited until the victim entered a restroom, then followed the victim inside, according to charging documents.

Court marshals were alerted to the situation when they heard yelling inside the restroom. They responded quickly to find the suspect trapping the victim inside a bathroom stall.

According to testimony from the victim, the suspect appeared to be suffering a mental crisis, as his “eyes were strange,” and his “hair was disheveled.”

The defendant, Clint James Jory, was previously arrested for indecent exposure in May 2019 and had been incarcerated just six days before the courthouse incident. He was a registered sex offender.

Jory told investigators he was currently homeless and was using methamphetamine.

“We can no longer ignore or defer the dangerous environment that has surrounded our seat of government, and those who attempt to access our services,” Dunn wrote to King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan urging for the closure of the public facilities. “It is our duty as employers and leaders of the county to make sure that everyone working, accessing services, and seeking justice in all of these buildings are able to do so without fear for their own personal safety.”

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Cameron Sheppard

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Cameron Sheppard