Prosecutors have dropped four of nine charges against a Seattle attorney accused of raping five women in Asian massage parlors.
Danford Grant had faced nine felony charges, but on Monday morning, the city prosecutor’s office sent out a memo: Four of those charges would be dropped. The number of alleged victims is now two, rather than the previous five. And no longer will the prosecution allege that Grant raped on the night he was arrested.
Prosecutors say that Grant raped and attempted to rape women – once with a weapon that appeared to be a knife – in 2011 and 2012.
Although four charges have been dropped, Grant still faces a minimum sentence of 20 years.
The alleged victims in the case have remained anonymous so far.
Sarah Rizvi, co-director of API Chaya, a Seattle nonprofit that works against sexual violence in the immigrant community, said that sexual assault victims rarely come forward.
She said it’s tough even if the victim isn’t an immigrant. And for immigrants, there is fear of law enforcement and deportation.
“There’s a mistrust of the system,” Rizvi said. “Sexual assault is an assertion of power over them. They know the abuser often has more power, more resources, more money, so they feel if it goes anywhere with case, that maybe they’ll be the person that ends up in jail or ends up in trouble.”
Jury selection in the case started on Monday morning. The entire trial could take a month.