Port Angeles man’s rape trial delayed to October

By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — The jury trial of a Port Angeles man accused of raping a woman along a dirt road off of Black Diamond Road in July has been pushed back nearly a month.

Clallam County Superior Court Judge George L. Wood ordered Friday that the trial of Justin Owen Sawby, 35, which was originally set for Sept. 9, be continued to Oct. 7.

Sawby remained in the Clallam County jail Sunday in lieu of $1 million bail, according to court documents.

Wood made the change at the request of Clallam County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Ann Lundwall, court records said.

Lundwall told the court she would be unavailable for the Sept. 9 trial and that she had yet to receive information from the state crime lab and medical reports from Olympic Medical Center concerning the case.

Sawby’s defense attorney, Alex Stalker of Clallam Public Defender, did not object to the request.

Sawby pleaded not guilty July 26 to one count each of first-degree rape, first-degree kidnapping, second-degree assault with a deadly weapon with sexual motivation, second-degree assault-strangulation and harassment-threats to kill.

The charges stem from Sawby allegedly assaulting and raping a woman he knew along a dirt road off of Black Diamond Road the evening of July 17.

According to police accounts, Sawby asked the woman for a ride to Black Diamond Road and eventually got into the driver’s seat after threatening the woman with screwdriver.

After getting the pickup stuck in a creek, Sawby then allegedly strangled the woman to the point that she nearly lost consciousness and raped her outside the truck after dragging her along the road with rope binding her hands.

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Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at jschwartz@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: August 18. 2013 6:37PM
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