Crime

Man accused of raping teen at Bellingham motel on Samish Way

A Bellingham man faces charges of raping a teenage girl and threatening to kill her family, including a 3-year-old child, with a knife at the Villa Inn.

Defendant Andrew Garrette Seeman, 30, has lived with the girl and her mother in motels around Skagit and Whatcom counties over the past few months, according to a probable cause statement read in court Tuesday.

The defendant, with a shaved head, listened to the allegations with his mouth wide open and his eyebrows furrowed.

Seeman, the girl reported, followed the teenager into a bathroom at the Villa Inn last week, pinned her down, and raped her as she fought him and told him no. Seeman choked the girl, she reported, when she tried to cry out for her mother in another room. She thought he would kill her, she told police. She’s under the age of 18.

Once the sexual assault was over, Seeman opened the door and threw the girl by her hair into the main room while she wore only a tank top, in front of her mother, witnesses told a detective. Seeman threw a knife onto the floor in the middle of the room and told everyone – the mother, the teen, a toddler, and another man – he would tie up and stab anyone who went past the knife to leave the room, according to the statement.

“The defendant specifically said he would start with the 3-year-old child,” the deputy prosecutor, Christopher Quinn, told the courtroom. “And he would, ‘Put it,’ referring to the knife, ‘through his chest.’ 

The girl and her mother were trapped in the room for two days, Quinn said, until Seeman let them go out and look for money. That’s when police were notified about the alleged rape. The girl was taken to the hospital. An exam found bruising on her knee, bruises under an arm, and scratches on her throat. Witnesses told police that Seeman uses methamphetamine, carries knives and often threw knives into the walls of motel rooms, according to the statement.

Superior Court Commissioner David Thorn set bail at $250,000, as requested by the prosecutor. The defendant and a deputy public defender had no comment about bail or the charges at the hearing. Seeman plans to hire his own attorney.

He remained in jail Wednesday on suspicion of first-degree rape, second-degree assault, unlawful imprisonment and three counts of felony harassment. Prosecutors plan to file formal charges Thursday.

Caleb Hutton: 360-715-2276, @bhamcaleb

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