Crime

Bellingham man accused of sexually assaulting six women, charged with 16 felonies

Washington state victims and arrests for forcible sex offenses

The Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs collect crime statistics from agencies that serve about 92% of the state. The most recent numbers available are from 2017.
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The Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs collect crime statistics from agencies that serve about 92% of the state. The most recent numbers available are from 2017.

A Bellingham man who is accused in four separate cases of sexually assaulting six women, several of whom were children at the time, has pleaded not guilty in his most recent case, where it’s alleged he raped a woman while knowingly having an outbreak of herpes, according to Whatcom County Superior Court records.

Clayton Evan Cummings, 27, is charged with a total of 16 felonies, including first-degree child rape, first-degree child molestation and third-degree rape. He pleaded not guilty to one count of third-degree rape Friday in his most recent case.

His trials are tentatively scheduled for May 6, May 13, and May 28, according to court records.

First case

In his first case, Cummings is accused of sexually assaulting three women, two of whom were children at the time, according to court records.

A 21-year-old woman said when she was around 9 or 10 years old, Cummings molested her on at least three separate occasions in Ferndale and Bellingham, court records state.

Another woman, now 23, said when she was between the ages of 6 and 10 years old, Cummings raped and molested her on multiple occasions, also in Ferndale and Bellingham, court records state.

A third woman, 28, told police she knew Cummings from church when she was little, but didn’t see him again until she ran into him in downtown Bellingham in May 2018. The woman described their relationship as volatile and said he forced himself on her, raped her and hit her in the face in two separate incidents, records state.

0304 Child rape.jpeg
Clayton Evan Cummings of Bellingham makes his preliminary appearance in Whatcom County Superior Court on March 4, 2019, for his first case. Cummings is accused of 16 felonies in four separate cases of sexually assaulting six women, several of whom were children at the time, according to court records. Denver Pratt The Bellingham Herald

Cummings is charged with six counts of first-degree child molestation, one count of first-degree child rape and two counts of third-degree rape in the case. He pleaded not guilty March 15, records show.

Second case

A fourth woman told Bellingham police that Cummings raped her multiple times, according to court records.

In late September, the woman told police she was in a “dead sleep” but awoke to Cummings raping her, records state. Cummings later allegedly apologized to the woman, and said that this was how he showed her he loved her, records state.

On another occasion Cummings pinned her down, sexually assaulted her, hit her in the face and choked her until she almost lost consciousness, records show.

Cummings is charged with three counts of third-degree rape and one count of second-degree assault (domestic violence). He pleaded not guilty March 15, records state.

Third case

A fifth woman, now 24, told police that when she was between 6 and 8 years old Cumming molested her on at least two occasions, according to court records.

The woman told police that she recalled at least two times where Cummings brought her into a bedroom and molest her and tell her it was “their secret game,” court records state.

Cummings is charged with two counts of first-degree child molestation. He pleaded not guilty March 22, according to court records.

Fourth case

A sixth woman, 23, told Bellingham police she met Cummings on the Tinder app in December 2017, according to court records.

In April or May 2018, Cummings told the woman he was having an outbreak of herpes, but still wanted to have sex with her, records state. After the woman said no, he raped her, records state.

Cummings was charged with one count of third-degree rape. He pleaded not guilty Friday, according to court records.

Resources

Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Services: 24-hour Help Line: 360-715-1563, Email: info@dvsas.org.

Lummi Victims of Crime: 360-312-2015.

Bellingham Police: You can call anonymously at 360-778-8611, or go online at cob.org/tips.

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Reporter Denver Pratt joined The Bellingham Herald in 2017 and covers courts and criminal and social justice. She has worked in Montana, Florida and Virginia.
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