Man accused of attacking Snohomish woman: 'I want my case dismissed'

Paul Williams made his first court appearance on Thursday.

EVERETT, Wash. -- A homeless man in Snohomish County who detectives said tried to rape a woman last week while she was walking to work made his first court appearance on Thursday.

Paul Williams, 36, was arrested for investigation of second-degree rape.

"I want my case dismissed right now," Williams told the judge during his first appearance by video from the jail.

Detectives say a 22-year-old woman was walking along the 1900 block of Bickford Avenue around 3:30 a.m. when she was grabbed her from behind.

The two struggled, detectives say, then the victim was forced to the ground. According to court documents, Williams removed the victim's pants and underwear. When he began to remove his belt and pants, the victim kicked him in the face.

He fell over a retaining wall, and the woman was able to get away. She waved down a car for help.

"It's very scary to hear that somebody will overpower somebody like that and especially being a young girl. Hopefully, she's OK from all of that," said Shelbey Jackson who works in the building along Bickford Avenue that's near the area where the attack happened.

Jackson and her co-workers are now relieved there has been an arrest.

"It's scary to see that's right here and it's in our community, but luckily we got that taken care of. Thank goodness," said Jackson.

According to court documents, deputies had two run-ins with Williams after the attempted rape -- both times near the area of the attack.

Deputies noticed he looked similar to the appearance described by the victim.

"This is an allegation of a stranger, attempted rape and he picked her out for no other purpose than her being alone at night," said Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Robert Grant. "I think he has proven just by the nature and the allegations of this case that he is a danger."

Washington State Patrol’s forensic lab found a man’s DNA on the victim’s underwear but noted additional testing is required, according to court documents.

Detectives are still waiting for a comparison of Paul Williams’ DNA with the evidence.

"I've never met her in my life so I don't know who she is," Williams said in court on Thursday.

Williams' bail was set at $500,000.

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