Everett man charged in 1998 rape case

EVERETT — An Everett man’s genetic signature has betrayed him as the rapist who in 1998 attacked an Everett teacher in her classroom, then apparently rode away on a bicycle, Snohomish County prosecutors said Friday.

Michael William McConnell was 17 when somebody sexually assaulted a teacher at gunpoint in a portable classroom on the campus at Discovery Elementary School. Now 30, he’s denied any involvement.

Genetic material left behind by the rapist tells a different story, deputy prosecutor Matt Hunter said in documents filed Friday in Snohomish County Superior Court. He charged McConnell with first-degree rape.

The teacher said she was alone in the classroom when a man, his face partially covered by black cloth and a black hat, climbed through a window. He robbed and raped her at gunpoint and left after tearing the phone from the wall and threatening her life.

She was able to summon help anyway. Officers were on the scene quickly enough that a police dog followed the attacker’s footprints. The trail proved a dead end. Bicycle tire tracks suggested the rapist had pedaled away from the scene, Hunter wrote.

Evidence collected at the attack scene also didn’t help detectives identify a suspect. Then in June, cold case detectives at the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office asked that genetic material be retested using current technology.

Scientists ran the tests and concluded male genetic evidence collected at the rape scene nearly 13 years before matched McConnell’s profile in the state’s DNA database. His genetic profile had been entered after a burglary conviction in 2000, said Hunter, who prosecuted that case.

“The defendant was contacted through his current federal probation officer and interviewed,” the prosecutor said. “He admitted living within one mile of Discovery Elementary School at the time this rape occurred. And he admitted using a bicycle as a method of transportation at that time. He denied robbing and raping” the teacher.

Generally, prosecutors have 10 years from when a rape was committed to file a charge. However, there is some leeway in cases such as these in which the suspect hasn’t been identified.

Prosecutors contend the law allows them to file rape charges a year from when the suspect is conclusively identified through DNA testing, as happened in this case.

McConnell has been on probation for a 2007 federal conviction stemming from a string of pharmacy burglaries. He is being held on the rape allegation on $250,000 bail. He faces more than 15 years in prison if convicted.

Scott North: 425-339-3431; snorth@heraldnet.com

More in Local News

Man arrested after police find van full of drugs, cash and guns

An officer on patrol noticed a vehicle by itself in the middle of a WinCo parking lot at 2 a.m.

Bolshevik replaces BS in Eyman’s voters pamphlet statement

The initiative promoter also lost a bid to include a hyperlink to online coverage of the battle.

After work to address issues, Lynnwood gets clean audit

The city has benefited from increased revenues from sales tax.

Man with shotgun confronts man on toilet about missing phone

Police say the victim was doing his business when the suspect barged in and threatened him.

Detectives seek suspect in woman’s homicide

Alisha Michelle Canales-McGuire was shot to death Wednesday at a home south of Paine Field.

Car crashes near Everett after State Patrol pursuit

The driver and a second person in the car suffered injuries.

Smith Island habitat restoration cost to rise $1.2 million

The project is intended to increase survival rates for juvenile chinook salmon.

A customer walks away after buying a hot dog from a vendor on 33rd St and Smith Street near the Everett Station on Friday. The Everett Station District Alliance pictures the area east of Broadway and south of Hewitt Avenue as a future neighborhood and transit hub that could absorb expected population growth. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
How can Everett Station become a vibrant part of city?

A neighborhood alliance focused on long-term revitalization will update the public Tuesday.

Jim Mathis, the Vietnam veteran whose Marysville garden was recently featured in The Herald, died Wednesday. Mathis, who suffered from PTSD and cancer, found solace in his beautiful garden. (Dan Bates / The Herald)
Vietnam veteran Jim Mathis found peace in his garden

The Marysville man who served two tours died Wednesday after suffering from cancer and PTSD.

Most Read