By Diana Hefley Herald Writer
EVERETT — A serial rapist who terrorized and fractured the lives of two Washington women, including a Lynnwood teenager, showed no expression Wednesday as a Snohomish County judge sentenced him to decades behind bars.
Marc O’Leary already is serving what likely will amount to a life sentence in Colorado for a series of rapes there.
Even so, prosecutors from Snohomish and King counties recently had O’Leary brought to Washington to answer to charges in connection with sexual attacks in 2008 in Lynnwood and Kirkland. O’Leary, formerly of Mountlake Terrace, pleaded guilty to the charges on Wednesday.
His admission confirmed the story that a Lynnwood teen told police in 2008. Lynnwood detectives dropped their investigation into the rape and the teen was charged with false reporting after police say she recanted her account of the attack.
On Wednesday, O’Leary was sentenced to 28 ½ years for raping the woman.
She chose not to attend the hearing.
Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Adam Cornell told the judge that the woman, now 22, never again wants to be in the same room as O’Leary.
“He crushed her dignity and sense of security and belief in the goodness of people,” Cornell said.
Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Ellen Fair also sentenced O’Leary to 40 years in prison for the attack on a Kirkland woman. She told the judge Wednesday that O’Leary robbed her of her sense of peace and safety.
The woman, 67, said there is some relief that the rapist is in prison, where he belongs.
Fair agreed to allow O’Leary to serve his punishments for the Washington crimes concurrently with the 327-year sentence he received for the Colorado attacks. She ordered him sent back to Colorado as soon as possible.
Fair said that while O’Leary already is serving what essentially amounts to a life sentence, it was still important that he be held accountable for the “unspeakable” crimes he committed here.
Additionally, if he ever were to be released by Colorado officials, the convictions in Washington would assure that he be under the jurisdiction of Washington State’s Indeterminate Sentencing Review Board. It would be up to the board to decide whether O’Leary would ever be set free.
Fair commended the victims for coming forward and reporting the crimes. The judge said she was struck by the victims’ courage, a stark contrast to the cowardice that O’Leary demonstrated when he attacked them.
The rapes here happened less than two months apart.
Both women reported awakening to a stranger armed with a knife standing in their bedrooms. O’Leary bound their hands and gagged them. He repeatedly sexually assaulted the terrified women. He snapped photographs of them and threatened to post those on the Internet if they reported the assaults to police.
Last year, O’Leary was named a suspect in the attacks in Lynnwood and Kirkland after he was arrested by Colorado detectives for a series of sexual assaults there.
Detectives found the name of the Kirkland woman linked to an encrypted file on O’Leary’s computer. Later, lab results showed his DNA matching genetic evidence collected from the shoelace used to bind the Kirkland woman’s hands.
Colorado investigators searching his home also found hundreds of images, documenting the rapes. Among the photographs were pictures of the Lynnwood teen. One photograph showed the woman’s identification card placed on her bare chest.
In 2008, the Lynnwood victim submitted to a sexual assault exam, offered to take a polygraph test, provided a hand-written statement and spoke with investigators on the day she was raped.
She had just turned 18 and was living on her own for the first time.
“This was a young woman trying to find her way in the world,” Cornell said Wednesday.
Lynnwood police interviewed the woman several times and opened a rape investigation. Her story changed and details appeared to be inconsistent, police said. People who know the woman also spoke to detectives and expressed doubts about the woman’s story, police said.
The woman was prosecuted for false reporting. She was represented by a public defender and eventually pleaded guilty in Lynnwood Municipal Court. A judge granted her a deferred sentence and she was ordered to undergo mental health counseling and pay a $500 fine. The charge was dismissed in April 2010 once the woman met all the conditions of her sentence.
“We’re doing our best to make it right,” Lynnwood Police Chief Steve Jensen told the The Herald last year.
O’Leary chose not to address the judge Wednesday.
His attorneys told Fair that their client is remorseful for the pain he inflicted on the victims and accepts responsibility for his actions.
Everett defense attorney Rachel Forde also took a swing at the Lynnwood Police Department, saying that the victim likely suffered additional psychological damage at the hands of the police officers who accused her of lying.
“I also hope the Lynnwood Police Department is held accountable,” Forde said.
Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; firstname.lastname@example.org.