A 36-year-old Montesano man has been charged with threatening a woman he met on Craigslist with a knife and then raping her at a home near McCleary in January of last year.
Elisha Zaugg was charged with first-degree rape when the charges were filed in Grays Harbor Superior Court on March 20.
Acting Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Katie Svoboda says in her charging documents that the victim contacted Zaugg, who had placed an ad on Craigs-list and pretended his name was Mike Carson. They allegedly discussed having sex in their emails. They met at the grocery store in McCleary on New Year’s Day of 2013, where he purchased some wine. They drove separate vehicles and she followed him out of town to a home.
The victim “had a couple glasses of wine in the living room, but became concerned because the defendant did not appear to know his way around the house,” Svoboda wrote.
The charging documents state that the two went upstairs, but he couldn’t find the light switch so he had to turn on a light in an adjoining room, according to the victim’s account.
“Once the defendant came back from turning on the light, his demeanor had changed and he told her that he had a knife in his pocket and showed it to her,” Svoboda wrote, adding that it was “a folding knife and the defendant opened the blade.”
A gun and another knife were also allegedly in the house. The defendant allegedly told the victim that, “If she did everything she was told she wouldn’t be hurt,” Svoboda wrote.
Stripping her naked, they allegedly had sex.
“As they were getting dressed, the defendant told her she didn’t know anything about him, that they weren’t in his house and that his name wasn’t Mike,” Svoboda wrote. “It wasn’t his car and the cell phone wasn’t his.”
Svoboda says the defendant allegedly threatened the victim that “he knew everything” about her “and that she better not report this to the police.” She was so upset that when she left the home, she allegedly drove into a pole getting out of the area.
The woman was eventually treated at Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia, where she was interviewed by detectives.
Zaugg was later contacted by detectives, but said the sex was consensual and allegedly said the initial plan was to pay for the sex, but he didn’t have the money to pay her. He allegedly added in another interview that the “remote location of the house they were in probably scared” the victim “as it was in the middle of nowhere.”