KIRO NEWSRADIO

Rape victim offended by Kitsap County’s plea deal with criminal

Jan 23, 2023, 3:31 PM
clayton...
Stephen Tyler Clayton, who previously pled guilty to raping three women, was sentenced to 14 months in prison after accepting a plea deal Monday. (KIRO 7)
(KIRO 7)

Stephen Tyler Clayton, who previously pled guilty to raping three women, was sentenced to 14 months in prison after accepting a plea deal Monday.

The plea combined the three rape charges into one charge of rape and one additional charge of assault.

Kitsap County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Anna Aruiza said the state was concerned about taking this case to trial, claiming a plea deal would “secure a conviction.”

Police investigating Sunday morning drive-by shooting in Belltown

“As the court is well aware, when witnesses are experiencing issues that can disrupt a courtroom that can lead to a mistrial, that can lead to an acquittal,” Aruiza said. “And the state has great concern that Mr. Clayton is a sexual predator. And in order to protect the community as a whole and to ensure our conviction when the state was approached with regard to a plea. That was something that we had to seriously consider.”

Despite the decision from the Kitsap County Prosecutor’s Office, Brandi Kruse sounded off on the ruling on KIRO Newsradio’s Midday Show.

“So we’re all on the same page, the rationale from the state is that these women are so damaged, mentally and otherwise, that they’re not fit to take the stand?” asked Kruse. “Well, why do you think they’re damaged? Why do you think they’re having mental health challenges? Because they were raped. So because of what he did to them, he’s getting a slap on the wrist. Try to make sense of that.”

“I’m hoping that when he gets out after 14 months, he’ll be facing some further charges,” Alissa Drowns, one of Clayton’s victims, said on KIRO Newsradio with Brandi Kruse.

Clayton is currently in an “active investigation” with the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office over a fourth rape case. The sheriff’s office told KIRO Newsradio the initial information was taken from the complaint, and the case is now assigned for follow-up at the time of this reporting.

“I was trying not to shake. Usually, I end up uncontrollably shaking my legs, tapping my hands,” Drowns said regarding talking in the court with Clayton present. “My dad was there, my ex-husband was there, and one of my friends was there. The other victim was always supportive.

“I don’t know; I just thought this is it. This is our last chance to hear our voices out there,” Drowns continued. “And now maybe there’ll be some degree of closure, and I will keep fighting for other women, and I will keep getting the word out there about rape culture and why it needs to change. But my personal chapter, maybe I can put an end to this chapter now.”

KC Councilmember Joe McDermott won’t seek re-election

Despite the empathy the victims received from the judge, Drowns still voiced her disappointment with the Kitsap County Prosecutor’s Office combining the charges.

“That’s very offensive to me,” Drowns said. “I mean, the reality is ugly, the truth is ugly sometimes. And I’m sorry if it doesn’t fit into your box of what good victims and good witnesses how are they supposed to act. But guess what, there’s not a handbook for when you get raped, and you don’t know how you’re supposed to act.”

Brandi had one last question for Drowns: Do you have any regrets about coming forward with this?

“The only regret I have is not coming forward right away,” Drowns replied.

KIRO Newsradio

Greg Nickles...
Heather Bosch

Former Seattle Mayor: ‘We have nowhere to go but up’

Former Seattle Mayor and City Councilmember Greg Nickles says "We have nowhere to go but up," as a city council.
10 days ago
opioid treatment...
Bill Kaczaraba

Lawmaker believes Lynnwood opioid facility should open on time

Controversy over an opioid treatment facility in Lynnwood continues, but state representative Lauren Davis believes it should open on time.
18 days ago
substations...
KIRO Newsradio Newsdesk

Pierce County substation attackers ordered to be held without bail

One of the men accused of the Christmas Day power substations that were attacked in Pierce County has been ordered held without bail
18 days ago
Dori Monson trophy...
Dave Ross

Ross: Remembering Dori Monson, who touched a lot of lives

One of the stories I hadn't heard -- a clip for a talk show Dori did many years ago - was a call from 9-year-old Casey.
26 days ago
Seattle fired Amazon workers...
MyNorthwest Staff

Revisiting KIRO Newsradio’s top blogs of 2022

It has been an interesting year so far at MyNorthwest, and to round out the rest of the year, we are bringing you a recap of some of KIRO Newsradio's top blogs of 2022.
1 month ago
Gamez roadtrip...
Micki Gamez

Gamez: How I got back to Seattle after flight was canceled in Vegas

Micki Gamez describes her journey back to Seattle with two strangers and their families after their flight was canceled in Las Vegas.
1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Rape victim offended by Kitsap County’s plea deal with criminal