Criminal Justice

Lawyer who pleaded guilty to raping five massage therapists gets 25-year sentence

Danford Grant, a Seattle lawyer who pleaded guilty to raping five massage therapists, was sentenced Monday to serve 25 years in jail.

Some statements from the women, all of whom are Asian, were read in King County Superior Court, the Seattle Times reports. One woman wrote that she believed Grant specifically chose Asian victims, and noted that in Chinese culture, rape brings shame and embarrassment.

Grant, 49, was a founding partner with a Seattle law firm, the Seattle Post Intelligencer reports. According to court documents, he visited the businesses, often setting up appointments from different phone numbers, while using fake names. Grant often told the women he was a doctor or a police officer, but sometimes he would mention being a lawyer, investigators found.

When the women denied Grant’s request for a sexual service, the Post-Intelligencer reports, he would attack them, sometimes at knifepoint.

A lawyer for Grant said that the defendant has a history of emotional problems, including alcoholism, reports, and Grant has admitted to using sex to self-medicate depression and anxiety.

“I want to use this opportunity to acknowledge I have committed wrong and to express my deep regret for the emotional pain that I have caused,” Grant said at the sentencing hearing, the Seattle Times reports. “I recognize that my behavior was reprehensible and know that I should be punished and that prison is a just punishment.”

Had Grant’s case gone to trial, the Post-Intelligencer article states, the defense was expected to argue that Grant engaged in paid, consensual sex with the women.

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