News

Community rallies behind rape victims

By MIKE HALLIDAY

The Mirror

Several organizations are working together to help the two teenage girls who were attacked last week in their apartment in Federal Way by a suspected serial rapist.

The Federal Way Family Assistance Fund was set up at a local bank by Federal Way Police deputy chief Brian Wilson after heh talked with his wife about how to help the girls.

King County prosecutors allege Anthony Casper Dias entered the girls’ apartment late on Nov. 7 and raped them repeatedly at gunpoint. He also is accused of tying up their mother and asking for money several times during the attack. The girls –– 13 and 15 ––and their mother, who wasn’t sexually assaulted, were able to escape after Dias fell asleep. He was later captured after being shot and wounded by police.

The city’s Police Department, Federal Way Public Schools, Federal Way Fire Department, Valley Communications –– which handles 9-1-1 calls –– and the Federal Way Chamber of Commerce have agreed to work together to raise funds to help the girls and their family, Wilson said.

The Police Department’s three labor unions are working together to raise funds. The other organizations are also planning to raise money internally, Wilson said.

The public can also donate to the account.

Wilson said the Police Department received several telephone calls from individuals and businesses who offered help with moving and counseling services.

Money donated to the fund is anticipated to help pay for expenses resulting from the crimes and establish guaranteed tuition accounts for the girls’ college educations, officials stated.

“This one has really sparked a strong response,” Wilson said, adding the family endured a “horrific set of circumstances.”

Meanwile, Dias is now scheduled to be arraigned next Tuesday at the King County Regional Justice Center in Kent on several charges related to the attacks on the two Federal Way girls.

Dias was supposed to be arraigned next Wednesday, but the date was moved up because of a schedule conflict, according to prosecutors.

On the morning of Nov. 8, Federal Way Police arrested Dias at The Heights at West Campus apartments after he allegedly fled the scene of a home invasion and rape of two teenage girls.

Prosecutors, in court documents, claim Dias broke into the apartment the night before and repeatedly raped the two girls at gunpoint.

He also allegedly tied up their mother with a dog leash and demanded money. After he apparently ingested a combination of ecstasy and marijuana, Dias fell asleep and the three victims used the opportunity to escape and call police, according to authorities.

Police surrounded the apartment building. When Dias tried to escape after jumping from the balcony of the victims’ apartment, he was shot in the elbow by a police officer.

Dias was treated for the wound at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle last week and then was booked into the Pierce County Jail last weekend. He is not being held in King County’s jail because a corrections employee of the county is related to one of the victims, officials said.

In addition to the rape allegations, Dias was charged with first-degree burglary, second-degree assault and unlawful imprisonment. Bail was set at $5 million.

He could face a maximum of 44 years in prison or a longer sentence if prosecutors feel the case warrants such a request.

Staff writer Mike Halliday: 925-5565, mhalliday@fedwaymirror.com

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