An Everson-area man was being held without bail at Whatcom County Jail in connection with a vicious sexual assault on his girlfriend, authorities said Sunday, Aug. 19.
Joshua John Randall Jeklin, 28, was arrested late Saturday at his Timon Road home on charges of first-degree rape and second-degree attempted murder of his 18-year-old Lynden girlfriend, said Lynden Police Deputy Chief John Billester. The Herald does not publish the names of rape victims. The attack took place in a Nooksack Avenue storage locker where Jeklin had taken the woman. They had been arguing throughout Saturday in regard to their two-year relationship, which the victim wanted to end, Billester said.
Billester said Jeklin bound the womans hands and feet and her mouth and head were wrapped in duct tape, while he sexually assaulted her at knifepoint in the storage locker, which Billester described as a small commercial space.
After the attack, Jeklin cut the woman free and drove her home, where he threatened to kill her if she told anyone about the attack. Jeklin also threatened the womans family members, who had gone to her home out of concern when she called them earlier in the day to say she was arguing with her boyfriend and that he had hit her.
Authorities were called at 6:50 p.m. Saturday, after Jeklin left. The victim was taken to St. Joseph hospital, where she was treated for superficial knife wounds, Billester said. Her condition was unknown Sunday, but her physical injuries were not life-threatening, he said.
Police provided emotional counseling at the hospital, while technicians gathered evidence and the victim gave a statement.
Meanwhile, Whatcom County sheriffs deputies went to Jeklins home, taking him into custody and turning him over to Lynden police officers, who took him to jail. No court hearing had been scheduled Sunday.
The couple have a 2-month-old child, Billester said. He said there was at least one unreported previous incident of domestic violence involving the couple.
ROBERT MITTENDORF is a Herald copy editor and page designer. Contact him at 360-756-2805 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.