Detectives & Deputies Work to Locate/Charge Rape Suspect
Spokane County Sheriff’s Office Sexual Assault Detectives charged 23-year-old Damon A. Soto with Rape 2nd Degree, Taking a Motor Vehicle without Permission 2nd Degree and Unlawful Imprisonment Friday afternoon. Currently Soto is in custody at the Kootenai County Jail for Possession of a Stolen Vehicle and Fugitive from Justice charges stemming from this incident.
On May 10, 2017, at approximately 5:10 a.m., Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the area of Waneta and South Palouse Hwy. to contact an adult female who was reporting she had been raped.
The victim stated she has known Soto since high school and agreed to meet him earlier in the evening to go out drinking. They went to several bars during the evening where the victim became very intoxicated and smoked Marijuana at an apartment of a friend of Soto’s. The victim stated she didn’t remember leaving the apartment with Soto. The next thing she remembered was realizing she was in a ditch on the side of a road and Soto was on top of her, forcibly removing her clothes. She told Soto to stop and started punching him but he held her down and forcibly raped her before driving away in her vehicle, leaving her on the side of the road. The victim flagged down a passerby and used the driver’s phone to call 911.
The victim was transported to a local hospital for medical treatment where she was contacted by Deputy Hause who continued the investigation.
After being alerted Soto’s last known address was in Plummer, Idaho, a Coeur d’Alene Tribal Police Officer located the victim’s vehicle, unoccupied, at the residence around 8:15 a.m. Soto was arrested for possession of a stolen vehicle and booked into the Kootenai County Jail.
Deputy Hause collected Soto’s clothing for evidence, advised him of his rights, and conducted an interview. Soto’s version of the evening was similar to the victim’s. He said he was driving them home in the victim’s car when the victim began to vomit. He wasn’t sure where, but he pulled over and they both got out of the vehicle. After the victim finished getting sick, he told her to get back in the car but she wouldn’t, so he got in her car and left her on the side of the road. He drove to the house in Plummer, went in, and fell asleep on the couch. Soto did consent to a sexual assault examination.
Detective Nathan Bohanek met Deputy Hause and Soto at the hospital and interviewed Soto where he gave a similar statement. At the end of the interview, Soto admitted he forced the victim to have sex with him and drove off in her vehicle, leaving her on the side of the road.
Soto is currently being held in the Kootenai County Jail for Possession of a Stolen Vehicle. Detective Bohanek obtained a Spokane County warrant charging Soto with Rape 2nd Degree, Taking a Motor Vehicle without Permission 2nd Degree and Unlawful Imprisonment with Sexual Motivation, which was served Friday afternoon.