Trial date set for Port Angeles man charged in rape case

PORT ANGELES — A June 4 trial date has been set for a Port Angeles man charged with sexually assaulting a Lower Elwha Klallam tribal member at her house while her 4-year-old son was in the woman’s home.

Robert Dwayne Spears’ apprehension was the result of a joint investigation by the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office and Lower Elwha Police Department, Chief Criminal Deputy Brian King said last week.

Spears, 53, has been charged with third-degree rape-domestic violence, unlawful imprisonment-domestic violence and fourth-degree assault of his ex-girlfriend, according to court records.

The assault allegedly occurred at about 5 a.m. April 2 on the Lower Elwha Klallam tribal reservation west of Port Angeles.

Spears was arrested at 9:10 p.m. that same day.

He was released on $5,000 bail that was posted April 14.

Clallam County has jurisdiction over the case because Spears is not a tribal member, Criminal Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Jesse Espinoza said.

The woman Spears allegedly assaulted told authorities she awakened at 3 a.m. April 2 to Spears lying naked beside her and trying to touch her.

He continued to touch her after she told him to stop, according to the probable cause statement.

When she tried to move to the living room, he allegedly grabbed her by the neck and forced her back onto the bed on top of her 4-year-old son, who was on the bed.

The boy told Spears to stop before Spears moved the woman to another portion of the bed and let go of her neck, according to the statement. Two hours later, he raped her, according to the statement.

The woman said she let Spears assault her “because she was scared,” Sheriff’s Deputy Eric Morris said in the report.

She fell asleep, woke up at 8 a.m., and called a Lower Elwha Indian Child Welfare Services representative to report the assault, according to the statement.

The results of a sexual-assault examination of the woman were not ready Thursday, King said.

A status hearing on the case is set for 9 a.m. May 4.

The June 4 trial is scheduled to last three days.

According to state law, third-degree rape occurs when there is a lack of consent and does not involve forcible compulsion or the infliction of serious injury.

King said there are 15-20 reports that have been generated in the case.

“This is a very large case with lots of information in it,” he said.

The FBI would have been involved in the investigation if the alleged assailant was Native American, King said.

“They could still get involved,” he added.


Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at [email protected].

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