BELLEVUE, Wash. — Bellevue police said Tuesday they have arrested two 18-year-old suspects in the rape and robbery of a Chinese woman believed to be a victim of human trafficking.
Police said the incident began when officers were called to a Bellevue motel on 156th Avenue SE for a report of a robbery. When officers arrived, they learned that the victim was Chinese woman who spoke little English and, through an interpreter, reported that she had been raped, assaulted and robbed in a room at the hotel. She said she is a citizen of China who was visiting the United States and staying in the room.
“The woman is believed to be a victim of human trafficking and was targeted because the suspects know these types of incidents aren’t usually reported to police due to the victim’s fear of being arrested or deported,” the Bellevue Police Department said in a news release.
Last Saturday, police arrested two suspects in the case — an 18-year-old man who lives in Seattle and an 18-year-old man who lives in Federal Way. According to police probable cause documents, one of the suspects confessed to going with the other suspect to various locations to steal money from Asian prostitutes.
“These suspects are believed to have committed several similar robberies in the greater Seattle area and Bellevue,” the news release said. “The Bellevue Police Department is strongly encouraging victims who have not reported these robberies to come forward by contacting Crime Stoppers online or by calling 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
“Victims are reminded that the Bellevue Police Department does not enforce federal immigration laws, and our investigators are committed to bringing these suspects to justice,” the release said.