White Center rape survivor: Politicians responsible for latest assault
A young mother and rape survivor who allegedly suffered a brutal assault at the hands of her rapist last week holds the region’s political leaders to blame.
“It makes them look bad — they don’t want to talk about it,” Diana* told the Dori Monson Show. “Nobody wants to take responsibility or blame, or look like they messed up.”
Francisco Carranza-Ramirez was convicted of twice raping Diana, who is in a wheelchair, last September, but he was released from jail earlier this month on the condition that he would return to Mexico within days, register as a sex offender, and stay away from his victim.
But three days after his release, he allegedly returned to Diana’s White Center home, hit her with a blunt object, knocked her out of her wheelchair, and choked her, all in front of her toddler-aged son. He fled the scene before police arrived and detectives later stated that he has returned to Mexico.
Carranza-Ramirez has warrants out for second-degree assault, felony harassment, intimidating a witness, and felony violation of a Sexual Assault Protection Order.
“This is what they get paid for, so they need to do their job — not just slap people on the wrist and let them go out again, and trust that they’re going to leave the country,” Diana said. “None of this has been okay from the very beginning.”
Filing lower charges
At the time he was convicted of rape in the third degree, Carranza-Ramirez received the highest possible sentence for that crime, one year in jail– though he was released early on good behavior.
In the state of Washington, third-degree rape is a class C felony that applies to scenarios such as date rape, where “lack of consent was clearly expressed by the victim’s words or conduct.” It does not, however, apply to rape cases where violence was used — and that, Diana said, is where the King County Prosecutor’s Office got it wrong.
“There’s record that he [was] choking me, there is record of me telling him to stop [from the 911 call], there’s evidence that supports I did not want this happening,” she said. “He’s being violent enough, I think, by choking and raping me.”
Although her attorneys pushed for a second-degree rape charge, which includes rape by “forcible compulsion,” the prosecutor’s office lowered the charge to third-degree rape. The rape survivor just found out from the prosecutor’s office that she did not use enough force to fight off Carranza-Ramirez.
“It’s very, very disturbing to me that they don’t think there was enough force when — I mean, I can only give so much force,” Diana said. “I don’t have the same use of my body that everyone else walking around able-bodied does. There’s a limit to what I can do in terms of fighting back.”
The prosecutor’s office, she explained, could have added aggravating circumstances, such as her physical disability or the presence of a minor, but it chose not to.
“It’s very invalidating almost, just very disrespectful,” she said.
She added that throughout both horrific experiences, she had to consider how her own actions might affect the safety of her young son, who was in her home with her.
“As a mother, your motherly instinct is still there, and you don’t get to stop being a mother … I didn’t know this person, I didn’t know his reactions to anything, I didn’t want to traumatize my son any further,” she said.
Last week, ICE told the Dori Monson Show that if sanctuary policy weren’t in place and authorities had been allowed to inform ICE that Carranza-Ramirez was being released from jail, the agency could have picked him up that day and held him until a deportation hearing.
But as Diana pointed out, even a legal immigrant would have to face the consequences for a crime as serious as rape.
“He’s committed a crime that is a deport-able offense, so it wouldn’t have really mattered what his status is,” she said. “Either way, they could have deported him.”
In the meantime, the rape survivor is in hiding, and fears that the man who stalked her and attacked her multiple times — who even, according to court records stated that killing her would “set him free” — will hunt her down again.
“I will never feel safe unless I know that he’s behind bars … he could come back,” Diana said. “I just don’t know where he’s at, and I do hope they extradite him, and that he has to face justice here.”
A GoFundMe has been set up for Diana to help pay for temporary housing so that she can escape her current location, as well as for trauma recovery and child care.
Listen to the Dori Monson Show weekday afternoons from 12-3 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.