Charge: Man caught raping developmentally disabled coworker

SEATTLE - A supervisor at a Ballard warehouse caught raping a developmentally disabled worker while on the clock had a dismissive response after he was caught in the act, according to charges filed earlier this month.

The 42-year-old woman "would not know the difference," James A. Neligan told a coworker, according to charging papers. Neligan, a 54-year-old Des Moines resident, is now charged with second-degree rape.

On April 24, another worker at the warehouse stumbled upon Neligan having sex with the woman inside a cubicle, who has the intellectual abilities of an 8- or 9-year-old, according to charging papers. Caught with his fly down and genitals exposed, Neligan is alleged to have told the other worker to "mind her own business."

Recounting the witness' statement, a Seattle Police detective said the alleged victim then began crying. Neligan shook his head, zipped his fly and walked away.

Speaking with investigators, the woman said Neligan touched her sexually after she told him not to, and that he continued to do so after she told him to "knock it off" and "stop." She went on to say Neligan told her she would get in trouble if she told anyone about his conduct.

Fired following the incident, Neligan was interviewed by police on May 30 and initially claimed the purported witness had misconstrued what was happening in the cubicle. Told by the detective that police had DNA evidence collected following the incident, Neligan is alleged to have changed his story.

Sweating profusely, Neligan said he had been teaching the woman, at her request, how to perform sexually, the detective told the court. He is alleged to have admitted having sexual contact with her for about one year.

"I asked James if he was ever nervous about getting caught and he replied, 'Oh of course, yeah,'" the detective told the court. "I asked why and he explained because he knew he wasn't supposed to be doing it."

Charged Monday in King County Superior Court, Neligan has not been jailed in the case.