Girl, 17, raped after accepting ride from man she met during Tacoma Mall job interview, prosecutors say

TACOMA, Wash. – A 17-year-old girl was raped by a man after she participated in a group job interview with him at a department store at the Tacoma Mall earlier this month, Pierce County prosecutors allege.

Miles Brown, 22, was charged with second-degree rape and second-degree kidnapping in connection with the May 2 incident.

Brown was ordered held on $1 million bail.

According to court documents:

Brown and the teenager interviewed for the job along with three other people.

The girl said that after the interview, she was texting her father for a ride to her study group when Brown asked her to hang out and insisted on giving her a ride instead. She said Brown eventually took her phone and used it to text her father to say she had a ride, and she finally agreed to let him drive her.

The girl said that once she was in the car, Brown said he needed to stop by his house. She said she told him she was in a hurry to get to her study group and asked that he drop her off somewhere instead so that she could get another ride.

During the drive, Brown repeatedly put his hand on the girl’s leg. As she began to get worried, the girl began texting her family and friends asking them to come get her.

They ended up in a secluded field near Pacific Lutheran University, which is where the alleged sexual assault occurred.

The girl eventually escaped from the car and got to PLU, where she called for help.

Pierce County sheriff’s detectives said Brown’s story changed several times when they talked to him.

At first, they said, he denied so much as talking to anybody from the interview. When he was told the store likely had surveillance cameras, he admitted he talked to the girl. Eventually, he admitted to giving her a ride, then gradually admitted to different levels of sexual contact but said it was consensual.

Pierce County Sheriff’s Det. Ed Troyer said incidents like this one are rare, but serve as a good reminder to talk to teenagers and younger children about personal safety.

“The way it is nowadays, don’t get in the car with strangers under any circumstances,” Troyer said. “Always go in pairs, and if you are going to get picked up or dropped off, always know the time and place.

“Don’t be afraid of hurting someone’s feelings by saying ‘No, I’m not getting in your car.”