Sunday, October 18, 2009

Prosecutor intends to seek life without parole for three strikes felon convicted of rape

A convicted rapist and 3 time felon may be sentenced to up to life without parole for beating and raping a woman who gave him a ride from downtown Olympia, WA on April 12. After several hours of deliberation, a jury convicted Allan Robert Simmons, 23, of 1st degree rape and 2nd degree assault with sexual motivation. The 25 year old victim was punched repeatedly, resulting in a broken nose, two black eyes, and a gash on her nose requiring stitches.

The woman testified at trial that she had met Simmons for the first time on the night of the rape, as she was smoking a cigarette outside after attending a party in downtown Olympia near where she works. The pair talked for about an hour, and she agreed to give him a ride home. Skinder told the jury the woman “is a kind person that made the biggest mistake she could have possibly made when she gave this person a ride in her car.”

She testified that during the ride, Simmons began to give her the creeps, ranting about how much he hated his job at Taco Bell and giving her vague directions home in the area of Mullen Road without a specific address. They finally stopped at a location where he said he could be dropped off, and he asked for a hug. She said she complied, hoping he would leave, but he immediately punched her.

She said she attempted to fight back at first, but he continued to punch her in the face so she stopped. During the rape, she begged him not to kill her, she said. Skinder said in court, “She’s a brave person who did what she had to do to survive that day.”

Thurston County Sheriff’s Detective Chris Ivanovich interviewed Simmons at his workplace, a Taco Bell where a person similar to the suspect's description worked. Simmons initially claimed that he was with his girlfriend, but the girlfriend refused to lie for her man. The girlfriend said that Simmons claimed to be with friends the morning of the rape. Moreover, the girlfriend saw bloody clothes that Simmons said came from a fight, but actually came from the attack on the victim.
During the trial, Simmons' defense attorney Larry Simmons said that the sex between his client and the victim was consensual, with the woman attacking Simmons because she was upset she cheated on her boyfriend. Deputy Prosecuting Attorney John Skinder rebutted that insinuation be showing pictures of the victim's injuries and contracting his 6' 5", 210 pound frame to her diminutive stature. “This person is an extremely manipulative coward who used his strength and size to beat and pulverize a young person who was kind enough to give him a ride,” Skinder said in his closing argument.
Skinder intends to seek life without parole for Simmons at his sentencing, currently scheduled for November 19. Simmons may be eligible for "three strikes" because of two previous felony convictions in Illinois.

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