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Bail set for Tacoma man suspected of raping 8-year-old Federal Way girl

Post by Steve Maynard / The News Tribune on April 13, 2011 at 1:32 pm with 13 Comments »
April 13, 2011 6:54 pm
Trinh

Bail was set today at $1 million for Benjamin H. Trinh, a Tacoma man accused of raping an 8-year-old Federal Way girl after he kidnapped her from her school playground.

A nationwide Amber Alert was issued Monday night for the girl after she was kidnapped. It was canceled after she walked home around 10:30 p.m. Monday.

Trinh, 28, was arrested Tuesday at his South Tacoma home on investigation of first-degree child rape, kidnapping and child luring, said Federal Way police spokeswoman Cathy Schrock.

He was booked into King County Jail in Seattle, where his bail was set at a hearing this afternoon.

Trinh raped the girl at his home in Tacoma, according to probable cause documents filed today. He showed the girl pornographic movies and had sexual activity with her including rape, according to police documents.

Trinh confessed to police that he kidnapped and raped the girl, according to the documents. Police said he also stated he had pictures of himself having sexual activity with the girl.

Trinh is not a registered sex offender and has no prior offenses other than one theft conviction, Schrock said.

He was arrested after a clerk at the Target store in Federal Way saw the picture of the girl and read the description of the suspect from a TV news alert link sent via text message to her cell phone, Schrock said.

The employee recognized the girl in the Amber Alert as having been in the store with the suspect, Schrock said. The employee told her store manager, and the manager called police, Schrock said.

Trinh and the girl were recorded together on store security video. Trinh was identified by a purchase he made with a credit card at the store, court documents said.

King County prosecutors have until Friday to charge Trinh.

Police initially believed the girl was unharmed upon her return home because she did not appear physically injured and showed no signs of being upset, Schrock said. The girl denied anything suspicious had occurred, she said.

Through investigation and interviewing the suspect, police gathered evidence that there was probable cause that she was sexually assaulted by Trinh at his South Tacoma home, Schrock said. Police arrested him there around 4 p.m. Tuesday.

Police believe Trinh drove the girl back to near where she lived, close enough that she could walk home.

She returned home with a Scooby-Doo DVD movie that he had provided to her, according to police.

The third-grader had been playing on the playground at her school, Olympic View Elementary School, 2626 S.W. 327th St., Federal Way, when she disappeared about 7:10 p.m. Monday. She had been seen with an unknown man about 30 minutes before. Police believe Trinh is that man.

The Amber Alert that was issued at 9:30 p.m.

Some children reported the suspect had been hanging around the playground next to the school for several days, according to a letter from school principal Cindy Dracobly that went home with students Tuesday. Children reported to police the man had been speaking to kids and taking pictures of them.

In a second letter that went home with students today, Dracobly updated parents that a Tacoma man unknown to the girl’s family had been arrested.

“We are thankful our student is home with her family, and that the police have located the person who may be responsible,” Dracobly wrote. “I cannot emphasize too strongly the importance of talking with your child about interactions with strangers.”

She listed two websites “about how to teach child about ‘stranger danger.’”

District spokeswoman Diane Turner said counselors have been talking with students at the school about the danger of interacting with strangers.

Police believe a 28-year-old Tacoma man raped an 8-year-old Federal Way girl after he kidnapped her Monday.

A nationwide Amber Alert was issued Monday night for the girl. It was canceled after she walked home around 10:30 p.m. Monday.

The man was arrested Tuesday on investigation of first-degree child rape, first-degree kidnapping and child luring, said Federal Way police spokeswoman Cathy Schrock. He was booked into King County Jail in Seattle, where his bail is scheduled to be set at a hearing this afternoon.

Police believe the man raped the girl at his home in Tacoma. He is not a registered sex offender and has no prior offenses other than one theft conviction, Schrock said.

The man was arrested after a clerk at the Target store in Federal Way saw the picture of the girl and read the description of the suspect from a TV news alert link sent via text message to her cell phone, Schrock said.

The employee recognized the girl in the Amber Alert as having been in the store with the suspect, Schrock said. The employee told her store manager, and the manager called police, Schrock said.

Police initially believed the girl was unharmed upon her return home because she did not appear physically injured and showed no signs of being upset, Schrock said. The girl denied anything suspicious had occurred, she said.

Through investigation and interviewing the suspect, police gathered evidence that there was probable cause that she was sexually assaulted by him at his South Tacoma home, Schrock said.

The third-grader had been playing on the playground at Olympic View Elementary School, 2626 S.W. 327th St., Federal Way, when she disappeared about 7:10 p.m. Monday. She had been seen with an unknown man about 30 minutes before. Police believe that man is the Tacoma man arrested Tuesday.

The Amber Alert that was issued shortly after 7 p.m. The girl last was seen by her mother at Olympic View Elementary School at 6:30 p.m.

The alert was canceled when the child walked up to her home several hours later.

Some children reported the suspect had been hanging around the playground next to the school for several days, according to a letter from school principal Cindy Dracobly that went home with students Tuesday. Children reported to police the man had been speaking to kids and taking pictures of them.

District spokeswoman Diane Turner said today that counselors have been talking with students at the school about the danger of interacting with strangers.

Leave a comment Comments → 13
  1. SICKO!!!!

  2. Why was this made public? The man responsible has already been caught and the little girl’s name and picture are already out there thanks to the Amber Alert. What possible reason is there to make something like this public except sensationalism?

    Seriously. This is bad journalism. Ten years from now, a Google search for this girl when she’s in high school is going to show that she was raped and the only reason for that is that the news felt the need to print it. Shame on you.

  3. hotthumbs says:

    I would love to get my hands on that piece of #$%(!

  4. hotthumbs says:

    TAGLA, the guy is going to stand trial…it’s going to get out there no matter what.

  5. robrob13 says:

    Oh my… this man needs special treatment. He is obviously a victim of some past incident… its not his fault. I think we should send him to Mcneil island and waste $150,000 to $400,000 per year on him for 10 years and then release him into your neighborhood; because after all, he can’t feel normal unless they blend with society again. After all we mustn’t hurt his feelings.

    There is a very cheap solution to this that would GUARANTEE he’d never rape or molest again… But we are too “civilized” for that

  6. BigSwingingRichard says:

    This man needs to be convicted, sent to prison and put into the general population.

    The other prisoners will apply justice: they have a special way of dealing with child rapists. He will get what he deserves.

  7. I’ve said it before, I will gladly pay for the bullet to put through this guys head. No trial needed, he had admitted it. I’ll save the state millions of dollars with my plan.

  8. skoolboy32 says:

    Jrdndd I’ll split the cost of that bullet w/ you!!!! Hell, I’ll even pull the trigger while you keep all the liberal lefts out of the way!!!! GREAT POST!!! It’s 2 bad we don’t have swift justice like that!!!

  9. shaboo999 says:

    Parents, watch your kids closely. There are obviously some sickos out there that are also watching…

  10. He is obviously a very sick man, and will rape another little girl once he is let out. Life in prison for him would be the appropriate sentence, but that will never happen with the lenient court system we have in this region.

    I also agree that the little female victim’s name should have been better protected.

  11. Why should we keep this pedophile alive and pay $40K per year to do so for the next 25 years or longer? We need to take some lessons from the Middle East when it comes to punishing criminals !!!

  12. Alison7613 says:

    The name of the victim is not used in this article. I am not sure what the commentators are talking about. I just cannot believe bail was even considered in this matter. No bail, conviction, no getting out ought to be the law.

  13. The name of the victim isn’t used in the article. It was used when she was missing during the Amber Alert.

    I realize it would get out one way or another that she was raped. It’s just seriously unfortunate that these things aren’t sealed. Too late now.

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