Inmate’s phone rights yanked after reportedly calling his victim

EVERETT — A Snohomish County judge has revoked a rape suspect’s phone privileges at the jail in an attempt to prevent the inmate from calling the Everett woman he’s accused of attacking.

The woman, 24, reported receiving two calls — one on Feb. 27 and another on March 1 — from the Snohomish County Jail. She didn’t answer, though the last attempt left a recording on her voicemail indicating that an inmate was trying to make a collect call.

The calls were “very frightening and concerning to her as she does not know of anyone incarcerated at the jail except for the defendant, a stranger that raped her as she was just entering her home,” Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Bob Langbehn wrote in court papers.

Langbehn argued that Daniel Miltenberger should lose his phone, mail and visiting privileges while locked up and awaiting trial for first-degree rape and burglary.

There is a court order in place that prohibits the defendant from contacting the woman.

Miltenberger, 29, is accused of ambushing the woman Oct. 29 as she returned home from work. Prosecutors allege a masked Miltenberger forced his way inside her house as she unlocked the door, held a gun on her and raped her.

Detectives say Miltenberger was identified through genetic evidence collected during the woman’s sexual assault examination. Forensic scientists at the Washington State Patrol crime lab reported the evidence matched Miltenberger’s DNA profile already on file in a federal database.

Miltenberger was required to provide a DNA sample when he was convicted of his first felony years ago. He is a registered sex offender with a history of breaking into homes.

His attorney argued Friday that there wasn’t enough evidence proving that Miltenberger made the forbidden calls from jail.

“I don’t think the state has met the burden to change his conditions of his detention,” Snohomish County public defender Jason Schwarz argued.

A Snohomish County sheriff’s detective searched phone records and video surveillance from the jail. Inmates are assigned personal identification numbers to make calls. Records showed another inmate’s PIN was used to call the woman in late February. That inmate and Miltenberger are housed in the same unit. The inmate refused to talk to police.

Video showed Miltenberger using the phone around the time the woman received the first call, according to the detective.

The second call was a failed collect call that didn’t require a personal identification number. Video doesn’t show Miltenberger at the phone bank on his unit at the time of the March 1 call. Not all the phones are within view of cameras, however, according to the police report.

It is unclear how Miltenberger obtained the woman’s cellphone number, Langbehn said Friday. Schwarz told the judge he has reviewed all the documents shared with his client and the woman’s number had been redacted from those records.

That’s all the more reason for Miltenberger’s privileges be revoked, Langbehn argued.

“He’s gotten this information somehow,” he said. The victim’s safety and welfare should be paramount, Langbehn added.

Superior Court Judge David Kurtz agreed to revoke Miltenberger’s phone privileges, saying there was enough evidence for him to take action. The defendant still will be allowed to call his attorney.

The judge said there wasn’t any evidence that the defendant was abusing his visiting or mail privileges. Those communications are monitored by jail staff.

Miltenberger is scheduled to go to trial in September. He’s being held on $1 million bail.

At the time of the rape, Miltenberger was awaiting trial for violating a no-contact order with a former girlfriend last year. He was accused of punching the woman in the face and throwing a lit cigarette down her shirt.

Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; hefley@heraldnet.com.

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