Pullman Hill serial rapist sentenced to life in prison, not eligible for parole until 2046 | Local

PULLMAN – Kenneth Downing, the Pioneer Hill serial rapist who terrorized Pullman 20 years ago, has been sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty of four counts of first-degree rape and one count of second-degree assault with sexual motivation. Downing is not eligible for parole for 283 months.

If released from prison, he will be required to register as a sex offender and will be under lifelong supervision with the Department of Corrections.

“After 20 years of hell, I hope today marks a turning point in the lives of survivors; the monster known as Kenneth Downing is now where he belongs,” said Dan LeBeau, chief assistant prosecutor for the Whitman County District Attorney’s Office. “We now have justice for the survivors and peace for the community.”

Background to the case

Nearly 20 years ago, in November 2003, a woman reported to the Pullman Police Department that she had been raped at gunpoint in her home. Then, in March 2004, two other Pullman women reported that when they came home early one morning, there was a man in their home with a gun. He then tied up one of the women and raped the other. Downing worked in construction in Pullman when he carried out the armed rapes by home invasion.

Following each of these incidents, the Pullman Police Department conducted a thorough and intensive investigation, but no suspects were identified at the time and the cases cooled. Despite this, the officers never gave up.

18 years later, the Pullman Police Department pursued forensic DNA genetic genealogy, something not available at the time of the original crimes. Through this process, Kenneth Downing’s DNA was confirmed to be a match to DNA found at the crime scene. Downing was arrested on March 17, 2022 in Spokane, WA. He then pleaded guilty in July.

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