A man who was accused of raping a disabled adult in Yelm has been sentenced to 30 months in prison.
Thomas Roger Case, 52, pleaded guilty Monday in Thurston County Superior Court to lesser charges of third-degree assault (domestic violence) and felony harassment.
The 30-month prison term, plus 12 months of probation, was considered an “exceptional sentence” because of the victim’s vulnerability.
Prosecutors also said the plea agreement would prevent the victim, a 37-year-old developmentally delayed male, from testifying at trial.
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In December 2013, the victim’s mother reported to Yelm police that Case had raped and threatened to kill her son. Case had been living at the residence for about a year, according to court documents.
The victim said that Case had forced him to have oral sex and had told him “that’s just what bro’s do,” according to documents. Once when the victim refused, he and Case fought; the victim said he was then knocked out and raped by Case, who also threatened to kill his family if he told anyone, documents show.
Case had initially been charged with second-degree rape and felony harassment. The lesser charge of third-degree assault came with a standard sentence ranging nine to 12 months.
However, Judge James Dixon was able to grant the longer sentence because both the prosecution and Case’s public defender agreed to the 30-month sentence. Dixon said Case — whose prior convictions include a 1994 rape and kidnapping — would have faced much more prison time had he gone to trial.
“Had you been convicted, you would have been going away a long time, maybe forever,” Dixon told Case, who appeared before the judge in shackles.
At Monday’s hearing, the victim’s cousin and mother told the court about the trauma caused by Case’s alleged crime. The cousin said the victim is no longer a happy-go-lucky guy and now lives in fear that Case will follow through on death threats.
“It’s just crushed our whole family,” the cousin said with her arm around the victim’s mother.
Judge Dixon assured the family that the government will keep an eye on Case after his release.
“You’re victims as well,” Dixon told the family, and thanked them for having the courage to share their struggles with the court.