A Tacoma day-care worker who was assaulted Monday said Wednesday she hopes other possible victims come forward.
“They have to speak up,” said the woman, identifying herself only by her first name, Kelli. “It’s important to speak up and do something about what’s happened to them. I don’t want them to go through anything that I’ve gone through. But if it does happen, they’ve got to speak up.”
The man suspected of the assault is expected to be in court today. PierceCounty prosecutors delayed a formal charging decision for 18-year-old Andrake Morris until today to give police time to review other possible assault cases connected to him.
Police arrested Morris late Monday at his uncle’s house in South Tacoma and he is in jail in lieu of $1 million bail.
Police said he attacked the day-care worker as she was opening Tender Heart Day Care, 8018 Pacific Ave. He beat and sexually assaulted the woman before her mother arrived and interrupted the attack, according to court records.
“I didn’t want to come out, but the reality is you have to come out,” said Kellie, 26. “You have to say something. Because if you don’t, then those people can’t be punished.”
Her face, eyes and head are still badly swollen from the beating.
Investigators said Morris ambushed Kelli after convincing her he had come to the day care to enroll his child in classes.
Kelli said that as he filled out paperwork, she felt uneasy around him and then suddenly, he attacked her.
“Before I know it I’m on the floor,” she said. “He was just so quick and it happened in a split second. I didn’t have a chance to think.”
Kelli didn’t want to talk about some specifics of the incident.
“It was just, I don’t want to die, but then nothing else came about,” she said. “I just couldn’t believe that it was happening so quickly. It’s not like he was strong, it’s that he was quick.”
Kelli said she has worked for her mother for more than 10 years.
“I’ve never been able to see the center not as part of my life, and I don’t know if I can step foot back in there,” she said.
It was a relief that Morris was arrested quickly, Kelli said.
“I hope he never comes out of jail,” she said.