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East Bremerton rape suspect charged

Gregory Edward Monroe, 29, a Silverdale man, made a preliminary court appearance Wednesday, Jan. 22 after being arrested in connection with the recent sexual assault of two 11-year-old Bremerton girls. - Photo by Rogericka Anas
Gregory Edward Monroe, 29, a Silverdale man, made a preliminary court appearance Wednesday, Jan. 22 after being arrested in connection with the recent sexual assault of two 11-year-old Bremerton girls.
— image credit: Photo by Rogericka Anas

The first steps in a long healing process began Wednesday afternoon in the Kitsap County Superior Courthouse in Port Orchard for the young victims of the recent assault in East Bremerton and their families.

Gregory Edward Monroe, 29 of Silverdale, made his first court appearance after being arrested Tuesday, Jan. 21 for burglary, two counts of rape, assault and unlawful imprisonment. Monroe is not a registered sex offender nor does he have any known criminal history.

He is suspected in the Jan. 16 sexual assault on two 11-year-old girls which occurred in one of the girls’ home in East Bremerton. An additional three teenagers were also involved as they subsequently arrived at the residence, interrupting the assault.

A somber Monroe gave quick, quiet answers to Judge Leonard Costello at the preliminary appearance. Bail has been set at $1 million.

Families of the victims were present and sent scornful looks of both hate and hurt in Monroe’s direction as the shackled man shuffled out of the courtroom.

The arrest was made by detectives following a tip made to law enforcement officials Monday night, Jan. 20. Out of the hundreds of tips called in, the one made Monday night led detectives to Monroe’s residence in Silverdale.

“It’s euphoric,” Kitsap County Sheriff Steve Boyer described Wednesday afternoon following Monroe’s court appearance. “The citizens are safe now — this terrorized our community.”

“It shocks the collective concious,” he added, noting that nothing similar has happened in Kitsap County in recent memory.

“Without the citizens’ help, this never would have been solved so quickly,” Boyer said. He also credited the detailed descriptions the young victims were able to give and the “good, solid police work,” from his own department.

According to the probable cause statement released Wednesday, detectives first contacted Monroe at his home Tuesday afternoon. Monroe fit the description given by the victims, though he was clean shaven and without the goatee the victims noted.

Monroe agreed to speak to one of the detectives in his vehicle and admitted to frequenting a church near the residence where the assault took place. He

showed the detective his tattoo on his upper left arm which is similar to that the victims described — a tattoo of a sun with the initials L.J.W.

Monroe then admitted to being in the victims’ house and said he saw an open gate on the side of the house. He said he couldn’t clearly recall entering the victims’ house, but could remember being in the house upstairs when he heard the girls enter.

The statement explained that the two 11-year-old girls, both students at Mountain View Middle School, walked to one of the girls’ home after school. They were in a downstairs bathroom at about 2:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 16 when the door opened and a white male holding a large kitchen knife entered.

The man threated to kill one of the girls and held a the knife to her throat. He forced the girls into an upstairs bedroom where he tied them up with various household electrical cords, made them perform sexual acts and raped them.

After an hour and a half, a 15-year-old female, a friend of one of the girls’ sister, arrived at the residence. The man also overpowered her, forced her into the upstairs room and tied her up.

Next, the 15-year-old sister and her stepbrother, 14, entered the house. The sister headed straight upstairs where the man tied her hands as she sat on the floor next to her friend. The man proceeded downstairs where he struggled with the 14-year-old boy during which he cut him several times with his knife before he was able to force the boy upstairs and also restrain him.

The children’s stepfather came home at that time to see the man standing at the top of the stairs with the knife. The man told the stepfather he didn’t want any trouble, walked down the stairs and left the house.

Sam Stephens arrived and saw the male at the top of the stairs. the suspect held a large kitchen knife in his hand, he told Stephens he didn’t want any trouble and he walked down the stairs, through the house and exited on foot.

The stepfather pursued the suspect in his own vehicle but lost sight of him near the Perry Avenue Mall. He returned to the residence to discover what had taken place there.

A deputy was able to respond within five minutes of a 911 call and a K-9 unit searched for the suspect but was unable to pick up the trail.

During the detective’s visit on Jan. 21, Monroe consented to let the detectives enter his home and to show them the clothes he had been wearing at the time of the assault. Monroe commented that the TV coverage had it wrong — he hadn’t been wearing a gray sweatshirt, but instead a gray coat. Monroe signed a consent form allowing the detective to execute a search of his home, and escorted detectives through the residence, showing them the backpack, coat and shoes he’d been wearing on Jan. 16. Monroe admitted to bringing the knife which the victims had reported, and confessed he’d brought it from his own home. He claimed to have discarded it while running through the Perry Avenue Mall.

Monroe would not discuss the sexual assault with the detectives, but did admit he “had screwed up a lot of lives and he was apologetic,” according to court documents.

Before requesting legal counsel, Monroe confessed to tying up some of the victims, and also to directing them to tie each other up. He admitted to using various items from the home to restrain them. Monroe also stated that he ran from the residence after an adult had arrived at the home and that the adult had chased him in his car.

By 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, detectives arrested Monroe.

Search warrants executed at Monroe’s residence Tuesday night led to the subsequent collection of evidence related to the case, including two baseball caps which fit the description given by the victims. Monroe’s backpack also contained news clippings of the assault.

Boyer and other Kitsap County Sheriff’s officials met with the victims and their families Tuesday afteroon to ensure they were the first to hear of the suspect’s arrest.

“I still feel bad for those little girls,” Boyer said. “Nice kids — amazing how resilient they are.”

He added that they had strong support from both their families and church members.

Boyer called the apprehension of the suspect, “one step of the closure process for (the victims). I think it’ll help them long-term.”

Formal charges were made against Monroe at his arraignment Friday afternoon. At press time, Kitsap County Prosecuting Attorney Russell Hauge said the following charges would be brought against Monroe: two counts of rape in the first degree, five counts of kidnapping in the first degree, one count of burglary and one count of assault in the second degree.

“His standard range sentence will be just under 40 years to just over 30 years,” Hauge said. “We’re going to ask him to plead a 40-year sentence.”

“I’m sure he’ll plead not guilty on Friday,” Hauge added. “I’d be surprised if it was anything other than a not guilty plea.”

The trial date was also set at yesterday’s proceeding.

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