UPDATED —Man linked to Olympic Discovery Trail attack found guilty
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PORT ANGELES — Spencer J. Silva, who allegedly attacked a bicyclist on Olympic Discovery Trail last summer and opened a teenager’s bedroom window as she slept in August 2011, was found guilty of second-degree assault with a deadly weapon, first-degree attempted robbery and residential burglary on Tuesday.
Clallam County Superior Court Judge S. Brooke Taylor found the 23-year-old not guilty of voyeurism and the sexual motivation enhancements to the other charges.
Silva, who is being held in the Clallam County jail on $300,000 bond, will be sentenced Feb. 19 in Clallam County Superior Court.
Taylor initially found Silva not guilty of unlawful imprisonment because it was not proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
“What I did find was that the unlawful imprisonment was an integral part of the assault in the second degree and the attempted robbery in the first degree,” Taylor said.
Clallam County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Ann Lundwall said the court must determine what crime merges with what.
“I will take a look at that and get something out in writing very quickly on count 3 (unlawful imprisonment),” Taylor said.
Taylor scheduled a Feb. 5 hearing on the legal issues associated with counts involving the cyclist, namely merging charges and jeopardy.
Silva was accused of knocking a 22-year-old woman off her bicycle on the multipurpose trail just west of Sequim.
The woman fought off the attacker, who was wearing a clown mask, by kicking and screaming until neighbors scared Silva away.
Clallam County sheriff’s investigators found a large knife at the scene. Silva fled in a small car.
A nearby resident’s video surveillance camera left to Silva’s arrest last September.
In the 2011 incident, Silva was accused of reaching into the window of a bedroom occupied by a 17-year-old Sequim-area teenager and opening the blinds at about 1:45 a.m.
He maintained that intended to steal a laptop computer to support a methamphetamine habit.
The girl woke up and made eye contact with Silva, who was arrested about a half-hour later when he returned to the same Carlsborg residence.
While there was a “very strong inference” that Silva acted with a sexual motivation, Taylor said there was “not sufficient evidence to establish a sexual motivation beyond a reasonable doubt.”
As for the voyeurism charge, Taylor said there was no proof that Silva gazed at the teen for “the purpose of arousing or gratifying Mr. Silva’s sexual desire.”
“Again, there is circumstantial evidence that would suggest that, but it does not rise to the level of proof beyond a reasonable doubt,” said Taylor, who presided over a two-day bench trial last week.
The bicycle attack that occurred at about 8:30 a.m. last July 21 resulted in three charges: second-degree assault with a deadly weapon with intent to commit a felony with sexual motivation, first-degree attempted robbery and unlawful imprisonment.
Taylor said the 7 1/2-inch knife, which contained Silva’s DNA, justified a guilty verdict on second-degree assault.
“Somehow, during the violent attack, and the violent resistance put up the young lady, (the knife) was dislodged,” he said.
Silva admitted to attacking the woman.
“His statement is strongly corroborated by a host of circumstantial evidence, including the knife found at the scene,” Taylor said.
Taylor said the attack was motivated by Silva “stealing whatever he could get from the alleged victim.”
“Again, there is certainly an inference the attack was sexually motivated, that what he had in mind was an abduction or a rape or both, but there is no evidence that raises that to proof beyond a reasonable doubt,” Taylor said.
“There was no grouping or any other sexual maneuvers by Mr. Silva. He did not say anything that would suggest he was interested in a sexual assault, and there is simply no evidence to support that this was sexually motivated despite the inference in the contrary.”
Last modified: January 23. 2013 10:24AM