DNA evidence, grocery receipt help police crack Pierce County rape case from 2020, records show


A man who is accused of sexually assaulting a woman in 2020 has been charged following a lengthy investigation.

Pierce County prosecutors charged Boyd Earl Hatch, 65, with three counts of first-degree rape, first-degree burglary and first-degree robbery for the July 12, 2020 incident. He was arrested April 2 and made an appearance at his arraignment a day later.

A plea of not guilty was entered on his behalf during the hearing in Pierce County Superior Court. Hatch is being held at Pierce County Jail on a $1 million bail, court records show.

Incident details

Tacoma police were dispatched at 11:59 p.m. to the 3000 block of North Villard Street for a sexual assault. The woman said she was assaulted between 9:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m, charging documents and incident reports show.

The woman told police she was sitting on her couch in the living room when a man wearing glasses with sores on his face walked into her home through the open back sliding-glass door. The attacker told her, "I will take care of you," and "We're going to go into the bedroom." The attacker was armed with a silver butter knife, documents show.

The woman told him she was not going to go anywhere with him. The attacker then grabbed her and lifted her off the couch. The woman began screaming and pulling away as he pushed her into the bedroom. Neighbors told police they never heard sounds of a disturbance from the woman's home, documents show.

The attacker placed the woman's phone under a couch cushion. The attacker told the woman to perform a sex act on him. Incident reports show that the woman was scared for her life and attempted to comply.

The attacker then tried to have intercourse with the woman but was unsuccessful. The attacker told the woman that he would kill her if she called the police. The woman said she was most frightened when the attacker stated, "I have been watching you for two weeks," documents show.

Court documents show that the attacker left the room to get a glass of water. When he left, the woman discovered the butter knife lying on her bed and she hid it in her mattress. When the attacker returned, he brought out a bottle of vodka from his black backpack and drank from it. The attacker then sexually assaulted her with his fingers, documents show. She pleaded with him to stop because she was in pain, but the assault continued for 5-10 minutes.

The attacker told the woman he was going to take her wallet, and she protested. He did not take it, but she later discovered he stole $40 cash from her wallet. The attacker told the woman he was leaving and stepped out the back door to smoke a cigarette. The woman closed the door and locked him outside. She waited a period of time before going to her neighbor's home to call the police, documents show.

When police arrived, the woman retrieved the butter knife and provided it to them. They also discovered the phone the attacker hid beneath the couch cushions. The woman was taken to Tacoma General Hospital for injuries, documents show.

Investigation details

Detectives later learned  that a DNA sample from the butter knife and the woman's sexual assault evidence kit allegedly came from Hatch. Before that discovery, several other men were considered suspects, but they were ruled out.

An investigator contacted several North Tacoma grocery and liquor stores inquiring about records of any sales of 750 milliliter vodka containers that could have been the one that the attacker drank from during the incident. A Safeway on North Pearl Street responded to the request and provided a receipt. The liquor was purchased in cash, and the Safeway Club card membership used had Hatch's wife's name on it, documents show.

Still shot photographs of the purchase from the store also appeared to show Hatch as the one buying the vodka, documents show.

Detectives later reviewed forensic photographs that were taken after Hatch was physically assaulted on Puyallup Avenue six days after the attack. The physical build of Hatch matched the description of the attacker, records show.

Hatch and his ex-wife separated days after the rape. His ex-wife claimed in a court petition that Hatch physically assaulted her and would look for fights so he could use drugs. Investigators also made note that Hatch's ex-wife mentioned his alcohol use.

Detectives received some of Hatch's belongings from his ex-wife so they could DNA test it. On March 28, a DNA profile obtained from a hat was a possible contributor to the DNA on the knife. There was also a profile match with a sample from the knife and the SAE kit.


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