4 charges dropped at start of Seatte lawyer’s rape trial

SEATTLE — King County prosecutors have dropped four charges against a Seattle lawyer accused of raping women at massage offices, just as his trial is getting under way.

Danford Grant had been accused of raping or trying to rape five women, but charges involving three of them were dismissed Monday as jury selection was beginning. The prosecutor’s office said in an email it made the decision “as a result of additional investigation and case preparation.”

Danford Grant pleaded not guilty and has been free on bail since 2012. He was a partner in a Seattle law firm. He still faces five counts, including rape, attempted rape and burglary.

The King County Superior Court judge who had been handling the case, Mary Yu, was appointed last week to the state Supreme Court. Judge William Downing is taking over.

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