News

Bainbridge man found guilty of attempted rape

A Bainbridge Island man has been found guilty of attempted rape, one year after his assault on a teenager who was walking home from an island grocery store.

Jaime Sylva-Arroyo, 27, was found guilty of second-degree attempted rape by a jury in Kitsap County Superior Court.

“The jurors reached the results they did and it was in part from the evidence,” said Prosecutor Jonathan Salamas.

DNA samples were key to the conviction. A cap left behind after the assault contained DNA that matched samples taken from Sylva-Arroyo at the jail.

The victim in the case also identified Sylva-Arroyo as wearing the cap during the attack.

A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for Aug. 23.

The standard range of sentencing for the crime is between 58 and 76 months in jail. Sylva-Arroyo must also register as a sex offender. A protection order will also remain in effect to protect the victim of the assault.

Sylva-Arroyo was arrested in July 2012. He was taken into custody two days after two sexual assaults occurred within minutes of each other.

The first incident happened after Sylva-Arroyo followed a 19-year-old woman who was shopping at the Safeway on High School Road. After the young woman left the nearby Rite Aid, Sylva-Arroyo continued his pursuit and attacked the teenager on the Ihland Trail off Madison Avenue.

The young woman fought back and bit her attacker’s fingers, causing him to flee. He left behind a baseball cap and a sandal.

Minutes later, a second woman was groped while walking on Bjune Drive. Although Sylva-Arroyo was a suspect in that case, he was not confirmed as the assailant and was not charged.

Using security camera footage from Safeway, and photos taken of Sylva-Arroyo by detectives, Sylva-Arroyo was identified by the victim as the attacker in the attempted rape. Police also interviewed Sylva-Arroyo while he was working at the Harbour Pub and discovered bite marks on two of his fingers that matched the victim’s account of the assualt.

It would take almost one year for Sylva-Arroyo to face a jury for the crime. The five-day trial concluded with a guilty verdict July 2.

Richard D. Oxley can be reached at roxley@bainbridgereview.com or 206-842-6613.

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