A Seattle lawyer got 25 years behind bars Monday for raping five massage therapists at several Asian massage parlors in the area from 2011 to 2012. Danford Grant, a prominent attorney and married father of three children, researched his victims online before attacking and raping the women, sometimes at knifepoint.
The Seattle lawyer's 25-year sentence— five years per victim— is one of the stiffest penalties possible for the offenses. Grant pleaded guilty on May 9 to five counts of third-degree rape with one count of first-degree burglary and read a letter apologizing to his victims during his sentencing, SeattlePI.com reported.
"I know that I should be punished and prison is a just punishment and I willingly submit to prison as my punishment," Grant said in a statement during sentencing. "Although the truth about what I did is dramatically different than what was alleged, I do not minimize my real wrongs and my apology for those particular wrongs is genuine and heartfelt."
However, King County Superior Court Judge William Downing still followed the recommendation given by prosecutors and sentenced Grant to 25 years. The former founding partner at a law firm will get 20 months' credit for time already served since his 2012 arrest and could be released in 15 years, according to Reuters.
"They called you 'bad man'," Downing told Grant during the sentencing. They wondered "what to do if the 'bad man' comes back."
While Grant initially fought the allegations, he eventually pleaded guilty to avoid the victims, some of whom don't speak English well, from having to appear in court. Nevertheless, their letters were read aloud in court.
"This incident is the worst smirch on my life. I will never forget about the humiliation, the dark shadow, and the trauma that this incident has brought upon me and I will be entangled in these feelings for the rest of my life," one victim wrote.
Another victim tackled the stereotyping and misinformation that has been spread as a result of the trial.
"I read articles in the news and some reader's comments that said these were 'just Asian prostitutes.' Then the defense lawyer said this was consensual sex and prostitution. It made me sick to my stomach," she wrote. "(To become a professional therapist) I did everything that Washington state requires here. I spent a lot of time and I worked very hard to complete school ... I am a good, moral woman and I strictly respect my career as a massage therapist and skin care professional."
The victims worked at massage parlors in Seattle, Shoreline and Bellevue. Their names have been withheld.