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Victim attacked again by convicted rapist is upset over King County’s handling of case

Data pix.

SEATTLE -- Police are on the hunt for a convicted rapist who deputies say went after the same victim just days after being released from jail.

Last year, a White Center woman who is wheelchair dependent was raped by a man she did not know. The rape happened in front of her 2-year-old child.

Francisco Carranza- Ramirez was convicted for the crime and served 9 months in prison before being released last week.

Detectives say Ramirez attacked the woman.

“I thought he was going to kill me,” she said.

She sat down with Q13 News on Tuesday.

“The way he had my throat I couldn’t breathe,” said the victim.

She is now in hiding, in protective custody with Ramirez on the run.

“In a case like this, the system completely backfired and failed me,” she said.

From the very beginning, the victim says the King County Prosecutor's Office failed her.

“They file the charges lower so that they can convince or incentivize to plead guilty,” she said.

The woman says she asked the prosecutor’s office to go after Ramirez to the full extent.

“It’s not a justice system for victims, it's a justice system for defendants,” she said.

Now with his release, she says the courts failed her again.

Francisco Carranza- Ramirez

Prosecutors recommended community custody, but King County Superior Court Judge Nicole Gaines Phelps declined community custody.

The judge cannot speak about the case outside of court, according to her spokesperson.

But her office did send Q13 News audio of the hearing from last week.

You hear the defense telling the judge that all the logistics to get Ramirez to Mexico were in place. They promised the judge that his ex-wife would be responsible for getting him on a plane that was booked for his native country.

The request to leave for Mexico came from Ramirez, and there was a question by the judge on whether or not he could leave the US for Mexico if he was in community custody.

Ultimately, the judge ruled to allow Ramirez to leave the US but required that he provide proof that he arrived in Mexico once he got there. She said if he violated the requirements that there would be a bench warrant with no cash bail.

Ramirez did not leave for Mexico as promised, and the 35-year-old is now on the run. He has no known address because he is homeless.

In a response to the victim’s questions, the King County Prosecutor’s Office says they never negotiated her case with the other side and there was no plea deal.

"The State did not file a lesser charge to incentivize a plea – nor did anyone in our office tell the victim that we filed a lesser charge to incentivize a plea," the prosecutor's office said.

They say Ramirez pleaded guilty to the original charges during his arraignment and the charges were based on the evidence they had. They say most defendants plead not guilty, so his case is very unusual.

But the victim says Ramirez should have been charged with aggravated factors not just rape in the 3rd degree. The maximum sentencing range for that charge is 1 year behind bars.

That is the sentence Ramirez received but with good time he got out in 9 months. The victim says a harsher charge could have led to a longer jail time.

Some are also wondering why the judge in this case did not alert law enforcement to escort Ramirez to the border. The law bars attorneys and judges from asking citizenship status, so the question of whether an agency like ICE should have been alerted is not up to the courts.

An ICE spokesman had this to say about the case:

"In this case, we were not alerted that this person was going to be released from local custody. It makes it really difficult for us to identify them when we are in local custody because prior to this law, and this law goes a step further, but prior to this law the state has effectively blocked us from accessing any sort of state law enforcement databases ... We cannot access the detainees themselves in local custody, so we have to find sources of information that are available to the public to try and determine who is in the local jail. Often times we are only going to know after the fact," said Acting Field Officer Director for ICE Bryan Wilcox.

State Rep. Dan Griffey says he's frustrated over the details of this case.

“It’s pissing me off, and we should all be pissed off,” Griffey said.

Griffey is passionate about reforming sexual assault laws in Washington. This story, he says, shows that more work needs to be done.

“A lot of times they plead cases out but there are certain cases that are so detrimental to society,” Griffey said.

Griffey wants to sponsor a bill that could change the process when it comes to the most violent sexual assault cases.

"The legislation is getting to the point that we tell prosecutors that you can’t plead these cases down in certain circumstances,” Griffey said.

Griffey says Ramirez’s case defies common sense.

As for the victim, she is afraid to go outside with the predator still on the loose.

“I don’t want him to hurt anybody else,” she said.

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