A man accused of trying to rape a woman on the Olympia Woodland Trail has been deemed competent to stand trial nearly 20 months after the incident took place.
Daniel Leigh Leatherman, 23, was wearing shackles when he appeared Monday in Thurston County Superior Court. His trial date was set for the week of April 27.
Leatherman has been charged with attempted rape in the first degree. However, attorney Richard Woodrow said Leatherman may plead guilty to lesser charges in the coming weeks.
The alleged assault took place June 10, 2013, on the Olympia Woodland Trail off Eastside Street Southeast near Wheeler Avenue Southeast. A female was walking her dog on the trail when a man — later identified as Leatherman — allegedly began talking to her and following along, according to court documents.
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The man grabbed the victim in a bear hug, then pulled her off the trail and into the grass, where he held her by the hair and forcibly removed her jeans, documents show. He threatened to kill the victim before eventually letting her go, documents show.
Police found the suspect’s birth certificate in an abandoned backpack near the scene and later created a photo montage that included a photo of Leatherman, whom the victim identified as her attacker, according to documents.
A transient woman who camped in a tent off the Woodland Trail had called Olympia police to report that a man fitting Leatherman’s description had entered her tent that same day and asked to have sex, documents show.
Leatherman was homeless at the time of his arrest in June 2013. He has since been committed on two separate occasions to Western State Hospital for evaluation. Court records show he was previously found incompetent to stand trial because of mental illness, and had a past diagnosis for schizophrenia.
In an evaluation dated Jan. 14, Leatherman was declared competent to stand trial by a licensed psychologist with the Department of Social and Health Services.