By Associated Press
Seattle lawyer Danford Grant, who pleaded guilty on May 7 to reduced charges of raping masseuses, was sentenced on May 19 to 25 years in prison. The plea helped Grant avoid a trial that could have earned him up to life in prison. Grant’s victims were all Asian immigrant women who worked as massage therapists in Seattle, Bellevue, and Shoreline.
“Danford Grant carefully chose these women to be the victims of his violent rape ambitions,” King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg said. “He counted on them being too afraid to call police.”
Grant, 49, a married father of three and formerly a partner in a Seattle law firm, admitted raping the five women in 2011 and 2012. He pleaded guilty to third-degree rape, as opposed to the original charges of first-degree rape. He also pleaded guilty to a burglary charge.
Grant’s lawyer, Richard Hansen, noted that by pleading guilty to third-degree rape, Grant did not admit using force to coerce the women, but that he had sex with them without their consent.
The deal saves the victims from having to testify at his trial, Satterberg said.
“He knew that these women lived in the margins of a society where some did not speak English fluently, and where cultural shame surrounding sexual abuse is a powerful force mandating secret suffering,” he said.
Grant believed many people would see the case as “commercial transactions gone awry,” Satterberg added.
A business and employment lawyer, Grant previously worked in the Seattle City Attorney’s Office. (end)