A 35-year-old Centralia man was arrested last week on eight felony sexual abuse charges stemming from two February 2021 incidents where he allegedly raped a 13-year-old girl.
The girl’s mother, a 34-year-old Centralia woman, was also arrested last week for first-degree rendering criminal assistance for allegedly helping the man avoid arrest.
The Chronicle is not naming the defendants in order to protect the identity of the victim.
Law enforcement began investigating the incident on Feb. 2, 2021, after they responded to a Centralia address for an unrelated dispute and the alleged victim reported that she had been raped, according to court documents.
Law enforcement sent the victim’s clothing to a crime lab, which located semen on the crotch of a pair of her pants. On March 24, 2022, the crime lab indicated that “the lab results revealed strong support” for the male defendant contributing to the fluid, according to court documents.
Law enforcement responded to a Centralia address on May 24 in an attempt to arrest the male defendant, “but no one came to the door despite loud and extended knocking,” according to court documents. Law enforcement officers returned to the residence the next day and this time, the female defendant answered the door. When advised about the probable cause for the male defendant’s arrest and asked to have him come outside, the female defendant reportedly “advised that he had been gone for a ‘while’ and that she did not know where” he was.
She allegedly said she was home when law enforcement arrived the previous day but said she “had been sleeping and didn’t hear the knocks, despite the fact that neighbors in the building could hear the knocking,” according to court documents.
Several more attempts to contact the male defendant at that residence were unsuccessful, according to court documents.
The most recent attempt to contact the male defendant was just after 10 a.m. on Oct. 6. Officers with the Centralia Police Department “knocked on the door of the residence extensively and loudly, rang the doorbell rapidly on many occasions, announced police and specifically yelled for both (the male and female defendant) to come to the door, but no one answered,” according to court documents.
Multiple neighbors reportedly advised the officers they had seen the male defendant staying with the female defendant at the residence.
The property manager for the female defendant’s Centralia residence later told law enforcement he had met with the female defendant several times over the last couple months to tell her the male defendant “was not to be living there.”
Each time, the female defendant reportedly “indicated he was not,” despite neighbors reporting seeing the male defendant staying there “on many occasions in the last several months,” according to court documents. Neighbors noted the male defendant left the residence “mostly at night to avoid being detected.”
At about noon on Oct. 6, a neighbor contacted officers to report the male defendant was seen getting into a vehicle and driving southbound towards Harrison Avenue. Officers stopped the vehicle and located the male defendant in the backseat and the female defendant in the front passenger seat, according to court documents.
Both were arrested and booked into the Lewis County Jail.
Of the eight felony charges levied against the male defendant, two carry maximum penalties of life in prison, four carry maximum penalties of 10 years in prison and two carry maximum penalties of five years in prison.
First-degree rendering criminal assistance carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.
Bail for the male defendant has been set at $250,000. Bail for the female defendant has been set at $25,000.
Arraignment hearings for each defendant are scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 13.