Before raping a lady last weekend, a Bellingham man is suspected of beating and threatening a person he knew. John Richard Ross, 48, was taken into custody by the Bellingham Police Department on Saturday, August 27.
According to jail records, Ross is being held in lieu of a $100,000 bail. According to Whatcom County Superior Court documents, he was accused of two charges of second-degree rape on Tuesday, August 30, as well as one count each of second- and fourth-degree assault, harassment, and illegal imprisonment.
According to court filings, officers were called to the 1600 block of North State Street at 6:34 p.m. on Saturday after a 911 caller reported hearing a lady screaming from a tent nearby.
Documents state that when police arrived, they observed the victim and a guy who was later identified as Ross engaging in what looked to be sexual contact.
According to reports, the victim whispered “help me” to an officer as Ross and the victim were being separated. According to records, the victim was sent to St. Joseph’s hospital in Bellingham for treatment of what looked to be facial bruises and hand edoema.
After speaking with the victim at the hospital, police learned that she had been at Bellingham Public Library when Ross approached her and the person she was with, attacked both of them, and forced the victim to go with him.
Ross allegedly beat the woman for five hours, stamping on her hands and feet, striking her in the mouth and stomach, and threatening to kill her. The victim claimed that Ross and she had walked to the location where the tent was. Documents state that Ross raped the victim after compelling her to engage in sexual activity with him.
Documents say that although Ross admitted to beating the girl just before she gave her consent to have sex with him, he told police that the sexual conduct was consensual.