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The original item was published from 7/16/2013 1:00:11 PM to 1/17/2014 12:05:01 AM.

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Prosecuting Attorney

Posted on: July 16, 2013

[ARCHIVED] Juvenile Charged in Attempted Murder and Rape of 7-Year-Old Girl

TACOMA, WA – Today the Pierce County Prosecutor's Office filed charges against M.C.E. The juvenile was charged with Attempted Murder in the First Degree, Rape in the First Degree, Rape of a Child in the First Degree, and Kidnapping in the First Degree. The Prosecutor's Office also filed a motion to have M.C.E.'s case moved out of Juvenile Court and have him prosecuted as an adult. M.C.E. is 14 ½ years old.

"Rarely do we ask the court to treat a 14-year-old offender as an adult,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist, “but this is one of those few cases where the severity of the offense and the safety of our community call out for adult-sized accountability.”

If the defendant were prosecuted as a juvenile, he would be facing a maximum sentence of six-and-a-half years. If prosecuted as an adult, he could be facing a sentence of 30 years or more.

On July 10, at about 10:30 pm, Puyallup police responded to the Glenbrook apartment complex regarding a missing 7 year old girl, T.R. Several neighbors helped in the search, including M.C.E. A man who had been searching told police he found a child's shoe a short distance off a nearby trail that went into a heavily wooded area. T.R.'s family confirmed the shoe belonged to the missing child, and police located the match to the shoe a short distance from where the first shoe was found.

A police canine search unit arrived and quickly located the child about 35 yards from the second shoe. She was lying on her right side, and was obviously cold and shivering. There was mostly dried blood on her face and mouth, her hair was disheveled, and there was dirt all over her and her clothing. Her jeans were unbuttoned, unsnapped, and partially pulled down in the back. Her underwear was on, and her socks were off. Significantly, she demonstrated difficulty speaking and indicated it was her throat area that hurt. She also indicated pain to her arms, face, head and stomach. There was swelling on both sides of her neck. When asked if she knew who did this to her, she nodded yes and gave the officers M.C.E.'s first name. She was able to tell police that she had been choked to the point of unconsciousness. T.R. was rushed to Mary Bridge Children's hospital for emergency treatment and an evaluation for sexual assault.

Police obtained a search warrant for M.C.E.'s apartment. M.C.E said he hadn't seen T.R. since 1:00 pm. During the search of M.C.E.'s room, police noted there were two open laundry baskets with dirty clothes. In a separate bag secluded in a corner of the room, police found clothing with blood and dirt. When asked if the victim's blood would be found on his clothing M.C.E. stated, "I didn't do anything." M.C.E. was taken to the Puyallup Police Department for questioning. After repeated denials of any involvement, he stated he had taken T.R. into the wooded area, and that she got a bloody nose, so he left. M.C.E. then admitted that he asked T.R. to walk down the trail to look at a bird nest, where he physically assaulted her. He denied sexually assaulting her, but said that when he saw her injuries, he knew he was going to get into trouble, and knew he "had to get rid of her so she couldn't tell anyone." He told officers that he grabbed and dragged her further into the wooded area so people would not hear her. M.C.E. also admitted grabbing T.R.’s throat and squeezing until she passed out. He recalled that T.R. was kicking and gasping for air as he squeezed her throat. When she stopped struggling, he left.

T.R. underwent surgery to repair damage to her throat, and is recovering. A child assault specialist doctor also examined T.R. and found clear signs of sexual assault.

M.C.E.'s next hearing is set for 1:30 pm today in Juvenile Court, Remann Hall, 5501 6th Avenue, Tacoma.

Charges are only allegations and a person is presumed innocent unless he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

For more information, please contact Kelly Kelstrup at (253) 798-7792, [email protected].

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