Ex-prosecutor admits to hiding car after husband charged in rapes
SEATTLE -- A previously confidential Seattle City Attorney's Office report shows a city prosecutor admitted to moving her husband's car and refusing to answer police questions after her husband was accused in a string of massage parlor rapes.
Accused of raping four women and attempting to rape a fifth, Danford "Dan" Grant was arrested in September 2012 after dashing away from a Greenwood massage parlor. King County prosecutors claim Grant, a founding partner in a Seattle law firm and onetime assistant city attorney, told his victims he was a police officer and pulled a knife on at least two of the women during a string of attacks in the months before his arrest.
Now, a recently released city attorney's office report shows Jennifer Grant - then a supervising prosecutor with that office - moved her husband's Honda Pilot following his arrest on rape charges. Jennifer Grant has since resigned from the city attorney's office, where she'd worked since the mid-1990s.
Writing the court, Dan Grant's attorney, Richard Hansen, claimed his client's wife moved the car because it was parked in "a dangerous neighborhood" - off of Northwest 85th Street in the Greenwood neighborhood of North Seattle. A month passed before Jennifer Grant directed police to the SUV, which she moved first to her aunt's home in Auburn and then to another North Seattle street.
Investigators hired by the city attorney's office prior to Jennifer Grant's resignation opined that her decision to move the SUV only served to hinder detectives investigating a series of violent rapes. Those investigators found the claim that the SUV was in jeopardy unpersuasive.
"There is no evidence to support the claim that the Pilot or its contents were at risk of loss or damage if they remained where Dan parked the vehicle," the investigators found, according to a previously confidential report recently filed with the court by King County prosecutors. "To the extent the vehicle needed protection, law enforcement was more than capable of securing it."
While no one has claimed that evidence was taken from the SUV, Hansen said in court papers that any evidence recovered from the SUV may not be admissible at trial.
Prosecutors contend Jennifer Grant may have removed her husband's wedding ring from the SUV. Police do not appear to have recovered a knife Dan Grant is suspected of using during several attacks.
Dan Grant is alleged to have raped four women during a series of assaults in the summer and fall of 2012. Facing at least 45 years in prison if convicted, Grant is described by police as a serial rapist "obsessed with Asian women," who preyed on immigrant masseuses.
"The voluminous evidence in this case paints a striking picture of the defendant's compulsive and violent sexual assaults of numerous women in three cities across King County," Senior Deputy Prosecutors Val Richey and Corinn Bohn said in court papers. The prosecutors went on to describe Grant as "a profound danger to the community."
For his part, Grant has denied the allegations and described himself as a dutiful husband and father.
"My wife and three children are the most important part of my life," Grant said in a statement to the court.
'I never do this'
In the first attack in which Grant has been charged, he is alleged to have attacked a massage parlor receptionist as she walked to her car in June or July 2012. Prosecutors claim Grant identified himself as a police officer, drove her to a secluded area and raped her in the backseat of her own car.
According to prosecutors, Grant went to another masseuse's home in August 2012 after making an appointment under a fake name; the woman had previously refused to massage Grant because of his sexual advances. According to prosecutors, Grant forced his way into her home, pulled off her clothes and raped her.
Nine days later, Grant arrived at a Bellevue spa for a massage, according to charging papers. The masseuse later told police Grant claimed to have lost his wife and children in a car crash, and to be worth $32 million.
Once inside the spa, Grant is alleged to have grabbed the woman, told her he wanted to marry her and recited her home address from memory. The woman told police Grant recalled her husband's name as well; police suspect Grant used high-price search services available through his law firm to discover details about the woman and others.
According to charging papers, Grant drew a folding knife and threatened to cut the woman's face if she fought with him. He is alleged to have then raped her.
The woman told police Grant was sexually aggressive with her during a massage a year before, but she did not contact the police because he was impotent at the time. She was able to identify him from a montage, and provided police with his year of birth.
Prosecutors contend Grant raped another woman the following month at a small massage parlor in Greenwood.
During that incident, Grant is alleged to have claimed to be a police officer before pulling a knife and raping the woman. According to prosecutors, Grant returned days later and again raped the woman at the clinic.
That time, though, the parlor owner and others arrived as Grant was leaving. A struggle followed, and police arrived to find Grant two blocks from the parlor, located in the 600 block of Northwest 85th Street.
Prosecutors also claim Grant tried to rape another masseuse in July 2012 at the Greenwood parlor.
Grant is alleged to have grabbed her by the neck and held her against a massage table after attacking her partway through a massage. Grant tore at the woman's clothing before stopping suddenly, according to prosecutors.
"What happened? What happened?" Grant asked the woman, according to court papers. "It's crazy. I never do this."
Wife admits to taking SUV
Jennifer Grant learned her husband had been arrested in the serial rapes after spotting his name on the King County Jail register the morning after his Sept. 24, 2012, arrest.
Attending a preliminary hearing, Jennifer Grant spoke with attorney David Allen, who was representing her husband at the time. According to her account, Allen, a veteran defense attorney and law partner to Dan Grant's current lawyer, told her to retrieve the Honda and take it to a relative's home.
Speaking with investigators, Allen said he told Jennifer Grant to move the car because he was concerned it might be burglarized. But, according to prosecutors, Allen said he told his client's wife not to remove anything and denied telling her to hide it.
According to prosecutors and the city attorney's office report, Jennifer Grant had a relative drive the SUV to her aunt's home in Auburn. Bellevue and Seattle police searched the Grants' Wedgwood neighborhood home the following day, Sept. 27, 2012, and had hoped to search the SUV as well.
Allen and Jennifer Grant knew police were looking for the SUV, but declined to tell detectives it had been moved, county prosecutors Val Richey and Corinn Bohn said in court papers. Allen said he called another attorney to ask for advice, while Jennifer Grant said Allen told her she had no obligation to tell police where she'd put the SUV.
In a memo to the court, Hansen said Allen attempted to tell prosecutors where the SUV was immediately after the search warrant was served. Hansen contended a miscommunication derailed that effort.
Jennifer Grant later drove the SUV to Seattle's Wedgwood neighborhood. It wasn't turned over to police until Oct. 21, nearly a month after Dan Grant's arrest, when Jennifer Grant's attorney told detectives the SUV was parked near the intersection of Northeast 86th Street and 35th Avenue Northeast, eight blocks from the family home.
Searching the car, police found a black stocking cap, a replica handgun, a video camera and electronics, as well as a bottle of Cialis, an erection-enabling drug. Prosecutors contend evidence relevant to the case was found on an iPad and a Macbook recovered from the Honda.
Internal investigation launched
In December 2012, the city attorney's office hired an outside firm to investigate Jennifer Grant's conduct. She resigned from the city attorney's office on July 16, a month after the investigators issued their report; a spokesman for the office refused to comment on her departure.
Hired as an assistant city attorney in 1996, Jennifer Grant was supervising a team of city prosecutors when she resigned. Her husband had also worked for that office.
According to the report issued by three attorneys with Seattle firm Garvey Schubert Barer, Jennifer Grant told her supervisor, Assistant City Attorney Craig Sims, that she'd moved the SUV following her husband's arrest. That disclosure apparently came before her attorney told detectives where they would find the Honda.
Jennifer Grant told investigators she met with Allen in Sims' office shortly after her husband's arrest. Sims didn't know about the meeting and was not present for it; Allen said it occurred at his own office.
A redacted version of the city attorney's office report on the matter was filed with the court late last month by King County prosecutors.
According to the city attorney's office investigation into her conduct, Jennifer Grant admitted to removing her husband's wedding ring and office key card from the car. She claims to have replaced both after driving the car to Wedgwood, and denied taking anything else from the vehicle.
Investigators for the city attorney's office found neither Jennifer Grant nor Allen offered any reasonable justification for moving the SUV. They also said Jennifer Grant appeared to have dodged questions from the Bellevue detective investigating the purported rapes.
Writing the court, Hansen said Allen and Jennifer Grant were concerned the car would be broken into. Hansen went on to explain Allen told Jennifer Grant not to take it to her own home because of "the constant presence of media" outside the Grants' Wedgwood house.
Hansen said neither Jennifer Grant nor his law partner have been accused of any crime, nor has either faced sanction by the Washington Bar Association. The attorney went on to contend neither could be called as witnesses against Dan Grant.
"If the wife were called to testify at trial, her testimony would be subject to both the defendant's marital and spousal privileges," Hansen said in a memo to the court. "Therefore, neither the wife's actions nor Mr. Allen's discussions with her would be admissible as evidence at trial."
Jennifer Grant has since filed for marital separation in Snohomish County. The matter is set to go to trial in June.
Dan Grant is scheduled to appear at a hearing Monday afternoon before King County Superior Court Judge Mary Yu. Grant is currently free on bond.