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Homeless man pleads not guilty to raping woman in Seattle car dealership restroom

SEATTLE — A 24-year-old homeless man pleaded not guilty Wednesday with raping a woman in a Seattle car dealership bathroom when she dropped her car off for repairs.

Christopher Edward Teel was arrested May 14 when car dealership employees heard the assault and ran to help the woman.

He was charged May 16 with first-degree rape and unlawful imprisonment. He was being held in the King County Jail in lieu of $1 million bail.

The King County Prosecutor's Office said Teel said he had been in Seattle since 2016. At the time of his arrest, he had a $5,000 bench warrant out of Seattle Municipal Court after he failed to appear for a hearing for alleged trespassing. He has been on warrant status since March 2017, the prosecutor's office said.

According to probable cause documents:

At about 7:15 a.m. Monday, the victim dropped her car off for service at Carter Volkswagen on Leary Way in Seattle's Ballard neighborhood. She left the dealership to get a cup of coffee, and returned to use the dealership's temporary bathroom  since the building is under construction.

The victim walked up a ramp, by dealership offices and entered the women's restroom.

Teel went into the bathroom behind her and locked the door. He banged loudly on the stall door loudly and tried to open it. The victim used her feet to try to keep the door closed, but Teel busted down the door and dragged the woman out.

The victim told police the defendant stated, "You want this, God wants this," and that she replied, "God does not want this!"

Teel removed the victim's clothes and sexually assaulted her. She screamed for help, but the suspect choked the woman to make her stop.

A dealership employee using the restroom next door heard the commotion and tried to enter the woman's bathroom. The door was locked, but the victim managed to unlock the door and let the dealership employees in. Two dealership employees held Teel until police arrived.

The suspect was arrested, and he admitted to raping the victim, according to court documents.

The man has prior convictions for trespassing. His last known address is listed in probable cause documents as "Homeless Street."