LOCAL NEWS

Woman raped in Ballard dealership bathroom calls for new leadership

Apr 22, 2019, 12:43 PM | Updated: 3:13 pm

Warning: Video and article includes sensitive material regarding sexual assault

A woman raped at a Ballard car dealership by a man living in a homeless encampment spoke out Monday, in a video produced by local journalist and former council candidate Chris Rufo.

RELATED: Understanding Seattle’s homeless issues

Identifying herself as Lindsey, the woman walked viewers through the harrowing story of how she was violently raped in the dealership’s bathroom last May. The assailant — 24-year-old Christopher Teel — was a homeless man living in Ballard’s Nickelsville encampment.

“My assailant had been categorized as a homeless man — he was from Texas, and I found he had a warrant out for his arrest going back to 2016, which was very troubling to me,” she said. “He was using public services to survive, so I think we need to all acknowledge what we’re doing isn’t working — what we’re doing right now is actually harming the city.”

The revelation that Teel had an active warrant out had both Lindsey and the community asking why the suspect was allowed at a city homeless camp, and what the city could have done to prevent the rape.

But city-sanctioned camps are not required to do criminal background checks, so staff there did not know Teel had an active warrant.

According to Rufo, Lindsey had reached out to Councilmember Mike O’Brien following the incident, and “receiv(ed) nothing but dismissiveness and contempt.”

After that, she asked that Rufo help tell her story, calling on leadership in City Hall to tackle Seattle’s homeless crisis.

“We need stronger leaders, and strong leaders in my opinion are out there,” she said.

KIRO 7 News Staff contributed to this report

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Woman raped in Ballard dealership bathroom calls for new leadership