Man beaten in Issaquah incident faces rape charge

June 10, 2010

By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 3:55 p.m. June 10, 2010

The man beaten into a coma after a reported rape at a downtown Issaquah house last month has been charged with rape.

Steven McCanless, a 31-year-old Kirkland resident, faces a second-degree rape charge in King County Superior Court. Prosecutors said he touched a 22-year-old woman inappropriately and, after she recounted the incident to a friend, her husband and another man beat McCanless with a brick and a rubber mallet.

Issaquah officers responded to a reported rape at a residence in the 400 block of Northeast Birch Street at about 2 a.m. May 23. Officers discovered McCanless, beaten and bloody, on the floor. Police later recovered the broken, bloodstained mallet.

McCanless suffered a broken jaw and left eye socket, sinus injuries and blood on the brain. He spent at least part of the week after the attack in a coma at Harborview Medical Center.

Officers arrested the assault suspects — the husband, a 31-year-old Bellevue man, and a 30-year-old Issaquah man — for the beating. Prosecutors did not file charges against the assault suspects, but could decide to do so in the future.

Investigators said a group of people — including the assault suspects, the rape suspect and the woman — had gone out together to Time Out Sports Bar in downtown Issaquah earlier in the evening.

The woman left the bar because she felt ill, returned to a friend’s house — the Northeast Birch Street residence — and fell asleep on a mattress on the living room floor. She said she awoke to find McCanless touching her inappropriately.

The women then grabbed her mobile phone and called a friend. The assault suspects returned to the house and attacked McCanless after he said the woman “wanted it,” court documents state.

McCanless later told police he had been drinking heavily on the night of the incident, but he said he did not touch the woman inappropriately.

Senior Deputy Prosecutor Cecelia Gregson on Thursday filed for a warrant to have McCanless arrested. She also asked a judge to order the suspect held at the King County Jail on $100,000 bail.

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