Nine charges filed against Port Angeles man in brutal assault

Elderly woman reported threatened, raped, beaten

PORT ANGELES — Nine criminal charges were filed against a Port Angeles man who allegedly raped and assaulted a 71-year-old woman.

Reefer J. Zentz, Jr., 22, remained in the Clallam County jail Saturday on $250,000 bail.

He is awaiting a March 26 arraignment in Superior Court related to the brutal March 8 attack on the woman, authorities said.

Zentz is charged with first-degree rape, first-degree incest, assault in violation of a protection order, second-degree assault-strangulation, first-degree assault, and first-degree burglary, all with special allegations that the victim is a vulnerable adult and that the crimes were committed with a lack of remorse.

He also is charged with harassment-threats to kill.

Two additional charges include harassment-threats-to-kill and fourth-degree assault of the woman’s 71-year-old male caregiver that also allegedly occurred March 8.

A protection order was filed Friday barring Zentz from having any contact with the caregiver if Zentz makes bail.

Zentz — whose address was listed in the charging document as transient, Port Angeles — allegedly violated a district court sexual assault protection order that was intended to protect the woman from him.

The order is related to Jan. 8, 2019 incidents at the woman’s home, where he had been living in her garage for more than a year, according to a Port Angeles Police Department case report.

Zentz served 15 days for fourth-degree assault with sexual motivation-domestic violence and fourth-degree assault-domestic violence for incidents that prompted the order.

The sexual assaults Jan. 8 2019, and March 8 were similar, according to court records.

The woman said Zentz had sexually assaulted her twice Jan. 8, 2019. The attacks were reported to authorities by a Healthy Families of Clallam County advocate who had been helping her fill out the protection order request.

The woman was afraid to report the incidents because she was fearful Zentz would become more aggressive, according to the police report. She said he was verbally abusive and had threatened to “put something in her coffee,” according to the police report.

The woman also did not report the more recent March 8 attack.

That was done by the Olympic Medical Center staff who treated her for bruises that covered most of her head and bruising and swelling over her right eye, police said.

A CT scan showed internal bleeding in Zentz’s head. A medical exam showed additional injuries from the woman’s wrist to her knuckles, and contusions on her back, coccyx and buttocks.

The woman told Port Angeles Police Officer Eric Walker that Zentz showed up at her house March 3 “and begged her to let him stay there, and she agreed,” according to a probable cause statement.

On March 8, she was sitting a chair and he walked up to her, knocking a glass of milk out of her hand and beating her in the head with his fist, she said.

“She did know why he began assaulting her as there was no precursor to the action,” according to the statement.

She said the caretaker arrived, staying without incident, but when he left, Zentz knocked her to the floor, kicked her in the head, put her in a head lock, and placed his foot on her throat while threatening to kill her.

Zentz raped her as she tried to get off the floor, she said.

According to a supplement filed Friday to the original March 10 probable cause statement, the woman told Port Angeles Police Detective Kori Malone that Zentz also threatened her with what appeared to be a pellet air-gun.

“[The woman] said he shoved the gun in her mouth as far back as he could get it and pulled the trigger,” Malone said.

“She said she knew it was a fake gun and she knew there was nothing in it, but it was the ‘scare of having a gun shoved in your mouth.’”

Shortly after second March 8 assault, the caretaker returned to the house, and Zentz slapped his hat off and shoved him to the floor, the woman said.

She told Zentz they were going get take-out food for dinner. Zentz said he was going with them and grabbed a kitchen knife, threatening to slit their throats if they said anything, the woman said.

The caretaker said when he returned to the woman’s house, she was sitting on the floor and Zentz was holding the knife.

Zentz told him to take away the weapon, which he did. When the caretaker sat down in the living room, he said Zentz shoved him to the floor.

While the woman drove all three to get dinner, Zentz “was muttering and mumbling,” according to the statement.

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Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at pgottlieb@peninsuladailynews.com.

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