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Court hearing starts Monday for Kent boy accused of rapes
A hearing started Monday before Judge Barbara Mack in King County Juvenile Court in Seattle to determine whether a 16-year-old Kent boy charged with rape should be tried as an adult.
The hearing is expected to last for two days, according to the King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office.
Prosecutors charged the boy in November with two counts of first-degree rape and two counts of first-degree kidnapping with sexual motivation in connection with attacks on a 17-year-old girl and a 19-year-old woman on separate nights in October on the East Hill along Kent-Kangley Road.
Prosecutors will request that the boy be tried as an adult. The boy attended Kentwood High School in Covington, where Kent Police arrested him Nov. 7.
If convicted in Juvenile Court, the boy would be incarcerated up to his 21st birthday, according to prosecutors. The minimum sentence in adult court is 28 to 36 years in prison with a potential maximum sentence of up to life in prison.
Because the boy was 15 when the alleged rapes occurred, the Juvenile Court first handled the charges. Mack must order adult prosecution for the boy and decline the case, which would send it to King County Superior Court.
Under Washington state law, an offender who commits a serious violent offense is automatically charged in adult court if they are 16 or 17 years old when the alleged crime occurred. The boy turned 16 on March 21.
In each incident, the boy approached the woman and the girl after they had exited a bus, according to charging papers. The boy allegedly told the woman and the girl he had a gun and threatened to shoot them if they did not cooperate and go with him to a secluded spot. He reportedly raped both women while continuing to threaten them with what he said was a gun.
The girl and woman provided similar descriptions of the teen. Kent Police released sketches of the suspect. The drawings generated a number of tips that helped detectives track down the boy.
Detectives said state crime lab investigators matched DNA from the boy with evidence collected from each rape victim.