A Lacey man accused of stealing a vehicle with two children inside last week in Lacey appeared Monday in Thurston County Superior Court on rape and robbery charges.
Bail was set at $1 million for Curtis Eugene Harmon, 24, who faces eight total charges: first-degree robbery, first-degree attempted robbery, theft of a motor vehicle, second-degree theft, two counts of first-degree rape and two counts of reckless endangerment. Arraignment is set for April 7.
“How are you gonna charge me with something I didn’t do?” Harmon told Judge Anne Hirsch via the courtroom’s video monitor during Monday’s preliminary hearing. Harmon then scuffled with officers who tried to escort him away after bail was set.
Harmon was arrested March 19 in Portland, Oregon, just one day after fleeing the area on an Amtrak train. He had been identified as a suspect in a March 18 auto theft outside Paramount Christian Academy in Lacey. Two children had been left in a running vehicle outside while their mother dropped off a third child at the church’s daycare. The vehicle was found a few blocks from the school, and the children were unharmed.
Lacey police had distributed surveillance images of the suspect boarding an Intercity Transit bus in the area where the vehicle was stolen. After Harmon’s arrest in Portland, he was transported to Lacey, where he admitted to police that he had stolen the vehicle from the church parking lot, according to court documents.
However, the arrest led to new charges for Harmon. About one hour before the auto theft, a 63-year-old female had reported that she was sexually assaulted while walking to a bus stop in Lacey. The attack occurred in the parking lot near 4550 10th Ave. SE, about 2 miles from the auto theft, according to court documents.
A male suspect had grabbed the woman from behind, placed an object to her throat, pulled her off the sidewalk and attempted to rob the woman, but she had no money, according to Lacey police. The suspect then forced the victim to give him oral sex, but she was able to run away when the suspect got distracted, documents show.
Lacey police report that during an interview, Harmon confessed that he committed the robbery and rape shortly before the subsequent auto theft.
The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office reported that Harmon was also arrested as a suspect in the rape and robbery of a 26-year-old woman that occurred about 8:30 p.m. March 14 in the 6100 block of Rainier Road Southeast.
According to court documents, that victim had been walking to a store when a man grabbed her from behind and dragged her behind a building, then robbed and raped her at knifepoint.
In an interview with Thurston County Sheriff’s Office detectives, Harmon admitted to taking the woman’s ID and debit card before sexually assaulting her, according to court documents.