Person of interest located in Seattle groping case

AP News
|
Posted: Oct 16, 2014 12:27 AM
Person of interest located in Seattle groping case

SEATTLE (AP) — Police said Wednesday that a convicted sex offender is a person of interest in a weekend groping incident involving a Seattle woman who turned to social media when she decided a police officer didn't seem to care.

The man has been booked into the King County Jail for a violation of his state Corrections Department supervision, police said on their website. They did not identify him.

Julia Marquand, 28, used her cellphone on Sunday to photograph the man who she says groped her in downtown Seattle, The Seattle Times reported. She also filed a police report.

She said a female officer took down the basic details but had to be persuaded to look at the cellphone photo. Dissatisfied with the encounter, Marquand later posted the man's photo on her Twitter and Facebook accounts, saying, "This dude groped me in Seattle yesterday. Cops didn't want the pic."

In her tweet, she mentioned the Seattle Police Department's Twitter handle and that of a few media outlets.

Within a few hours, Seattle police contacted Marquand and said her case, along with the alleged groper's photo, had been assigned to a detective.

Corrections Department officers contacted detectives after recognizing the man in the photo as a Level III sex offender under state supervision, police said Wednesday. Level III offenders are considered at high risk of re-offending.

Police said they were working to confirm a connection between the man identified by Corrections Department officers and the groping incident.

"Finally being a loud mouth paid off," Marquand told The Times after learning of the arrest.

Police spokesman Drew Fowler said earlier that it wasn't the tweet itself that caused police to re-evaluate Marquand's case, but it alerted the department to a "deficiency" in the way her case was handled.

He said he believes the incident had been discussed with the original officer.

Marquand told The Times her initial reaction to the groping was to yell at the man, who "nervously" apologized before walking away.

She decided to confront the man again if she could find him and was somewhat surprised to see him nearby. She took his picture as she walked toward him.

The man started apologizing as soon as he saw her, she said.

Marquand said she yelled at him, making sure others could hear.

"He looked terrified and ashamed, which is exactly what I hoped he would be feeling," she said.

___

Information from: The Seattle Times, http://www.seattletimes.com