Everett bar owner arrested again on new sexual assault charges

Christian Sayre, longtime owner of The Anchor Pub, was charged Friday with 10 counts of felony sex offenses.

Jail mugshot of Christian Sayre. (Washington County Sheriff’s Office)

Jail mugshot of Christian Sayre. (Washington County Sheriff’s Office)

EVERETT — The longtime owner of a Hewitt Avenue bar was arrested Friday and charged with 10 felony counts of sexual assault.

It’s the second time in several months Everett police have arrested Christian Sayre, 35, on allegations that he drugged and raped patrons.

New charging papers say Everett police opened 20 investigations into Sayre, who took ownership of the historic Anchor Pub at 1001 Hewitt Ave. in 2014.

Since his arrest and subsequent release on bail in October, more women have come forward accusing him of sexual assaults dating back to 2014.

Police also said Friday they had evidence of nine more counts of sexual crimes, but the statute of limitations had either expired or investigators needed more information. Detectives suspect Sayre of multiple sexual assaults in Washington County, Oregon, dating back as early as 2002.

Charging papers say Sayre used his position as the bar owner to perpetrate his offenses. Patrons told police they suspected the Everett man of secretly putting drugs in drinks he mixed.

A warrant for Sayre’s arrest was issued Friday. Police took Sayre into custody in the evening at his home on Nassau Street, about a block from the pub. He was booked into the Snohomish County Jail for investigation of two counts of second-degree rape and eight counts of indecent liberties.

Bail was set at $1 million.

Patrons had made reports to police about Sayre as early as 2017, police reports say. At least one of the alleged victims was identified as a heterosexual man, according to the new charges. Others were women.

People told investigators they woke after a night at Sayre’s bar with large gaps in their memories, despite only having had a few drinks.

Many had clear recollections, however, of being sexually assaulted.

One woman told The Daily Herald that Sayre raped her in 2018. They were friends. She had walked him home because he was drunk and she wanted to make sure she was OK. But when she went to leave his house, he slammed the door shut. She was trapped, she said. She begged him to stop. He did not listen, she said.

The woman used to live in Snohomish County. The trauma of the sexual assault was a big reason why she moved across the country. She said she will not feel at ease unless Sayre is convicted.

“I’m not very hopeful about it, just because Christian seems to get out of things very easily,” she said. “I’m not trying to be negative, I’m just being realistic.”

Originally, Everett police arrested Sayre in October for investigation of two counts of second-degree rape and one count of indecent liberties. He posted $120,000 bond hours later and remained out of custody for three months.

A 26-page affidavit, filed in court Friday, recounted the women’s stories.

A professional acquaintance, in her 30s, contacted police after Sayre’s initial arrest. She reportedly told police Sayre was flirtatious and charming when they met in 2017. Later that year, Sayre offered to help her prepare for a job interview. The pair met at a bar where the woman reportedly drank two beers.

They went to a different bar, and she ordered a vodka soda. She left her drink unattended when she went to the bathroom. When she came back, she finished her drink. The woman told police she did not remember leaving the second bar, and that she was not a lightweight when it came to drinking, according to the charges. She reported she’d never blacked out from alcohol.

She told police she remembered being at The Anchor later that night, and that she was not in control of what she was doing.

Her next memory, the charges say, was “waking up in a dark room with someone beside her.”

The woman reportedly reached out to Sayre after the alleged assault to try to get some answers about what happened, the charges say.

Sayre reportedly asked her, “Are you accusing me of raping you?” and threatened to get her fired.

“Multiple individuals” reported employees at The Anchor “were aware of the abuse and did not intervene while others suspected employees were covering for the defendant’s behavior,” wrote Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Taryn Jones.

Sayre tried to make a “quick sale” of the business during the investigation, according to the charges.

One of his former employees was named as a co-owner on the bar’s business license as of Friday. County records also listed Eclectic Enterprise as the owner of the building occupied by The Anchor. State records listed Sayre as the sole governing person of that LLC.

The Anchor sits in a wedge-shaped building at the westernmost edge of Hewitt, where bartenders have been serving drinks since 1907, according to a history on the bar’s website. For a while, it had a reputation as one of the liveliest, busiest music venues in town, especially for local bands. But in 2017, rumors began to circulate that Sayre was a predator.

Somebody called 911 in 2017 to report being drugged at the bar, believing a bartender was responsible, according to a police report. Later that same year, another person reportedly told police they’d been sexually assaulted by Sayre.

In 2018, another woman called 911 to report she’d been drugged and woke up with an injury, police wrote. And in 2019, a woman reported Sayre had raped her, but said she said did not want to move forward with charges at the time.

On Feb. 7, 2020, a woman went to a hospital and had a sexual assault kit completed anonymously, according to a police search warrants. She told hospital staff she did not want to go to police. Later that month, she called 911 to report she was sexually assaulted by the owner of The Anchor, who she knew as “Christian.”

On Sept. 9, 2020, an Everett police detective picked up the woman’s sexual assault kit from the hospital, according to the warrant.

One year later, in September 2021, detectives launched a renewed investigation into multiple allegations against Sayre, the warrant says.

The sexual assault kit from February 2020 was sent to a forensics lab. Two sets of male DNA were found on the woman’s underwear.

On Oct. 21, detectives obtained a search warrant to swab DNA from Sayre’s cheek, the charges say. Test results showed “very strong support” that one of the sets of DNA matched Sayre.

Over the past months, Everett police declined multiple requests for an interview with a Herald reporter to discuss the case and the timeline, saying the investigation was still active and detectives could not talk about it.

A police spokesperson offered to work on getting responses to written questions. Those questions were not answered.

Snohomish County Prosecutor Adam Cornell released a statement on the arrest Friday:

“It’s important to recognize the tireless efforts of the Everett Police Department’s investigations team and my attorneys and staff in bringing charges in this case. And it’s even more essential to recognize the multitude of brave victims who had the courage to bring their allegations to light. My office looks forward to fairly, firmly, and ethically prosecuting this case for the citizens of Snohomish County and seeking justice for the many victims involved.”

The Daily Herald plans to follow developments in this case. If you have a story to share related to the investigation, please contact reporter Ellen Dennis at 425-339-3486; edennis@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @reporterellen.

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