Convicted on nine felony counts in a March 2012 sexually motivated kidnapping, Robert D. Hitt was sentenced Friday to life in prison under the state's "two-strikes" law for repeat violent sex offenders. Hitt had been released from prison six weeks before the attack after serving a 10-year sentence for raping a University of Washington student.
At 3:30 a.m. on March 5, 2012, Hitt broke into a 20th Avenue Northeast home, tied up six University of Washington students, threatened them at knifepoint and forced one of them to strip. Two women who were in other rooms at the house were able to call police, who arrived and arrested Hitt.
Describing the encounter, the young women said Hitt first knocked loudly on their front door, then broke a window and snuck inside. When one woman opened her door to investigate the noise, Hitt, who was armed with a knife, forced his way into her room.
"I am going to (expletive) kill you," Hitt said at least 15 times. Ignoring the valuables in the home, Hitt demanded to know the location of the 20-year-old's roommates.
Hitt held the woman at knife-point as he took her from room to room collecting the young women's cell phones and forcing them into one bedroom and forced them onto the floor. All the while, the detective said, Hitt - a medium size man weighing 185 pounds and nearly 6 feet in height - held a knife on one of the victims.
Having restrained several of the women with tape, Hitt forced one to take off her clothing before binding her hands. Officers summoned by another young woman in the home who had hidden arrived and arrested Hitt.
"Courageous action by the young women during this terrifying ordeal and a quick response by the Seattle Police Department kept this crime from having a tragic ending," King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg said previously. "We will make sure that he never walks our streets again."
Confronted by officers, Hitt shouted "I was just going to rob them."
Searching his person, officers found a knife and two of the victims' mobile phones, as well as a small amount of methamphetamine.
Hitt was released from prison in January 2012 after serving time for raping a young woman at knifepoint in 2001. He was convicted of first-degree rape in that attack on a 19-year-old UW student who'd delivered a sandwich to his home. In that case, Hitt held a knife to her throat, tore off her clothes and raped her.
Hitt remains jailed at King County Jail pending his transfer to the state Department of Corrections.