LYNDEN - A Lynden man is facing several charges after he allegedly gave a 16-year-old girl a strange orange drink that made her black out so he could kidnap and rape her.
Prosecutors allege Casey Ronald Cohen, 37, kept the girl at his apartment for six days.
Cohen picked the girl up in early November and brought her to his apartment on South Sixth Street to "help him fix a TV and to use drugs," according to charging documents filed late last week in Whatcom County Superior Court. The girl texted her mom to say she was at a friend's house.
The girl's story was outlined in the charges: She voluntarily used methamphetamine with Cohen through the first night. In the morning, Cohen offered her an orange drink. She thought it was odd, but figuring the concoction had more meth in it, she drank it anyway. She started hallucinating and tried to leave. Cohen allegedly blocked her path and head-butted her. She blacked out.
Cohen took her into his bedroom and threatened to kill her, Deputy Prosecutor Eric Richey wrote in the charges. Over the next five or six days - the girl's memory was fuzzy because she was high on meth and whatever drug was in the drink - Cohen raped her "at least three times," Richey wrote.
"She said she never would have consented if she was not high on drugs," prosecutors allege.
The girl sobered up after a few days, but later told detectives she didn't feel safe escaping until Nov. 12, when Cohen dropped her off at a bus stop.
Officers say she appeared to have a broken nose. She gave them pieces of her cell phone as evidence, saying Cohen had smashed it with a hammer her second day in the apartment. The girl described how her captor kicked holes into walls and kept motion detectors in the living room.
To corroborate those details, a Lynden detective went to Cohen's apartment in December on a ruse: He said he wanted to inspect some shoddy wiring, so Cohen invited him in.
Police did not have a search warrant at the time. Lynden Deputy Police Chief John Billester said entering the home on false pretences was legal because police are allowed to lie to suspects during an investigation. For example, he said, when police are trying to elicit a confession they sometimes say they have crucial evidence, when really they don't.
Richey declined to comment on the legality of this particular ruse, but said similar techniques are used across the country by law enforcement.
"It's been an accepted practice for decades," he said.
As Cohen was being arrested, he denied committing any crime. But when he was being taken to the police station, Cohen said "he only had sex with (the girl) and smoked marijuana with her," according to the charges.
Later, he reaffirmed his denial and said they never had sex.
Cohen stands accused of kidnapping, second-degree assault, felony harassment and second-degree rape. He's in Whatcom County Jail in lieu of $500,000 bail.
In two protection orders approved in court this year, Cohen's estranged wife alleged that he has a history of erratic and threatening behavior. In one case, she wrote, Cohen came to her work armed with a .22-caliber rifle and demanded that she confess to an affair.
Cohen's wife ascribed his outbursts to drug binges and "untreated mental health issues."
Reach Caleb Hutton at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 360-715-2276.