Fourth woman says Kitsap County man raped her, too




  • In US
  • 2023-01-10 04:45:09Z
  • By KIRO

Outrage over a controversial plea deal for a man charged with raping three women.

Now, a fourth Kitsap County woman has come forward, saying he raped her, too.

This latest accuser says Stephen Tyler Clayton raped her ten years ago when she was just 17 years old and he was 19.

Clayton is awaiting sentencing after he pleaded to just one count of third-degree rape, meaning he could spend just over a year in prison.

There's a concern this latest case might be past the statute of limitations.

That was the concern of the Kitsap County sheriff.

But the Kitsap County Prosecutor's office says it is still reviewing the case.

That is good news for the first woman to come forward. This, for her, has become a crusade.

"I won't go into the gory details," said Alissa Drowns. "But the bottom line is what happened to her happened to me."

That was Drowns' reaction to the alleged rape report filed by another Kitsap County woman, one day after Clayton, charged with raping three women, pleaded guilty to raping just one of them.

Drowns did not know the woman. But she thought there might be more victims.

"Yes," she said. "I think there is a pattern of behavior here. Somebody is sad, depressed, inebriated, passed out, mentally incapacitated in some way; he takes advantage of those situations."

In her statement to the Kitsap County sheriff, ten years after the alleged assault, the fourth accuser described drinking with Clayton and someone else, then waking up hours later: "I was on a couch, and Stephen was behind me, an arm and leg tossed on top of me."

She says she was "scared" the other person might want to join in, so Clayton, she wrote, "had his way with me. I could see my pants and cell phone in the corner."

She was 17 years old.

In 2019, Governor Jay Inslee signed legislation dramatically increasing the statute of limitations in rape cases from 10 to 20 years for adult victims to no time limit for children. But the law was not retroactive and would not apply to cases before it took effect that summer.

The question the Kitsap County prosecutor must answer is whether it's too late to prosecute Clayton for this latest allegation.

Drowns thinks there may still be more victims. Clayton, she says, was a long-haul trucker for five years.

"He did tell me once that what happens on the road, stays on the road," she said. "And that just keeps haunting me."

And Drowns says this has torn her family apart. Clayton is married to her stepdaughter.

He is set to be sentenced on Jan. 23.

Drowns says she will be there.

Until then, he remains in the Kitsap County jail.

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