Plummer man charged with rape

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A 23-year-old Plummer man accused of raping an adult female before fleeing in her vehicle and leaving her on the side of a road is in custody at the Kootenai County jail.

Damon A. Soto faces charges of second-degree rape, possession of a stolen vehicle and fugitive from justice. He was being held at the jail on Tuesday without bond.

"The victim stated she has known Soto since high school and agreed to meet him earlier in the evening to go out drinking," said Deputy Mark Gregory of the Spokane County Sheriff's Office, which responded to the rape call last Wednesday morning.

Gregory said the two went to several bars and the victim became intoxicated and smoked marijuana at an apartment of a friend of Soto’s. The victim stated she didn’t remember leaving the apartment with Soto.

Deputies responded to the area of Waneta and South Palouse Highway at 5:10 a.m. to contact the alleged victim who reported she'd been raped. She told deputies she woke up in a ditch on the side of a road with Soto on top of her, forcibly removing her clothes.

The victim told Soto to stop and started punching him, but he held her down and raped her before driving away in her vehicle and leaving her on the side of the road, according to the SCSO.

The alleged victim flagged down a passerby and used the driver's phone to call 911. She was transported to a hospital for treatment.

After being alerted to Soto’s last known address in Plummer, a Coeur d’Alene Tribe Police officer located the victim’s vehicle, unoccupied, at the residence around 8:15 a.m. Soto was arrested for possession of a stolen vehicle and booked into the local jail. The SCSO added the second-degree rape charge on Friday afternoon.

Soto’s version of the evening was similar to the victim’s, Gregory said.

Soto told deputies that he was driving them home in the victim’s car when the victim began to vomit. He wasn’t sure where, but he pulled over and they both got out of the vehicle. After the victim finished getting sick, he told her to get back in the car but she wouldn’t, so he got in her car and left her on the side of the road. He drove to the home in Plummer and fell asleep on the couch.

Soto consented to a sexual assault examination during the investigation.

During an interview, Soto admitted he forced the victim to have sex with him and drove off in her vehicle, leaving her on the side of the road, Gregory said.

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