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Man charged of burglary after harassing Bainbridge Island woman
A Coast Guard master chief has been charged with residential burglary after allegedly harassing a Bainbridge Island woman over a 10-month-long period.
Paul Joseph Dahms, 42, was charged Friday with a single felony count of residential burglary after authorities said he entered the woman's Poulsbo home last May and attempted to make sexual advances.
According to Bainbridge Island Police documents, the woman, her husband and Dahms are all enlisted service members in the Coast Guard and stationed in Seattle. At the time of his arrest, Dahms held the position master chief, the most senior rank in the enlisted rank structure and also a rank much higher than the couple.
The woman told police that it was because of his rank that it took several months before she came forward to police.
Prior to living on Bainbridge, the couple lived in Poulsbo, across the street from Dahms.
During this time, the woman explained to police, the couple would often carpool with Dahms to work and they would attend neighborhood bonfires and parties at the Dahms' residence.
However, the woman could tell that Dahms seemed to have a fascination or attraction to her, and he would spend time talking to her both on and off duty.
The couple began receiving repeated anonymous and harassing emails, text messages and phone calls in January 2013. Until November of this year, the woman told police, she would receive messages on a daily basis, sometimes up to 15 hang-up type phone calls a day.
Despite changing phone numbers and email addresses, the couple would receive anonymous texts and emails that suggested the other spouse was cheating and that they should marry different people.
In the phone calls, the person on the other line would not speak, but the couple could hear "heavy breathing."
Last May, while her husband was away at sea, the woman was woken up around 2 a.m. to see Dahms standing next to her bed apparently intoxicated.
He grabbed her head and tried to force her to kiss him. He then pulled the blanket away from her and attempted to continue to touch her sexually. But he left shortly after she told him twice to leave.
The woman had been sleeping with her 9-year-old daughter in the same bed, but she said the incident was short and she did not believe her daughter was awakened.
The following August, the family moved to Bainbridge Island to get away from Dahms. However, the harassing phone calls, text messages and emails continued. The woman also told police that she had also seen someone walking around outside their Bainbridge home at night with a flashlight, but were unsure who it was.
In mid-November, the woman came to the Bainbridge Island Police to report the incidents over the past year.
On Dec. 4 and 5, Dahms admitted in a police interview to being responsible for the phone calls, emails and text messages. He explained that due to his position with the Coast Guard, he had access to the couple's contact information even when phone numbers and email addresses were changed. He told police that when the couple notified command of the changed information, he would again have access to contact them. He would then use Walmart prepaid cell phones and Gmail accounts to contact them.
He also admitted to police that he had entered their Poulsbo residence in May 2013 without permission.
Dahms was charged of a single felony count residential burglary in the Kitsap County Superior Court for unlawfully entering a residence. He was released from jail Thursday, Dec. 5 after posting a $75,000 bail bond.