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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: NorthTown mall

Trial begins in NorthTown Mall molestation case

A Spokane jury will likely decide this week whether a 56-year-old man with a criminal history of indecent acts with minors will spend the rest of his life in prison.

The trial of Richard Payne, accused of inappropriately touching and exposing himself to a five-year-old girl at a NorthTown Mall arcade in June 2012, began today with jury selection in Spokane County Superior Court Judge Kathleen O'Connor's courtroom. The proceedings, expected to last a week or less, have been delayed multiple times by defense motions seeking to suppress comments Payne made to investigators and keep some details of his criminal history from jurors.

To read more about this item, go inside the blog.

NorthTown Mall sex offender arraigned

A Spokane sex offender out of jail on $250,000 bond pleaded not guilty today to charges related to an alleged incident with a 5-year-old girl at the NorthTown Mall last month.

 Richard Michael Payne, 55, faces a potential life sentence if convicted of indecent exposure and two counts of first-degree child molestation after a girl and her 11-year-old sister told their mother he'd exposed himself in an arcade area at the mall June 21 while rubbing the younger girl's back. The girls' mother said in an email that the girl's 19-year-old brother was in the arcade at the time, too. She said the family was vacationing in Spokane.

Police obtained surveillance video of the incident and identified Payne as a suspect through the sex offender registry. He was arrested June 26 and left jail June 27 after posting the bond through Smith Family Bail Bonds.

Owner Chris Smith attended today's arraignment before Superior Court Judge Jerome Leveque. Payne is represented by lawyer David Hearrean.

He's wearing a GPS ankle monitor through the bond company that tracks his movements and is prohibited from contacting children or visiting places where the gather, including the NorthTown Mall.

Payne is a level 3 sex offender who served about 3 1/2 years in prison for grabbing a 9-year-old girl's crotch and buttocks while at a North Division Street store in 2001.

He also has two convictions for fourth-degree assault that stem from child molestation claims, as well as a public indecency in Oregon in 1985 for fondling himself at a Sears store. He has no further criminal history in Washington state.

Payne left the Spokane County Courthouse today without speaking to media. Hearrean has said he's worried citizens may seek vigilante justice and his client may not get a fair trial.

Sex offender released on $250k bond

A Spokane sex offender facing a potential life sentence for allegedly molesting a girl at the NorthTown Mall is out of jail.

Richard Michael Payne, 55, posted $250,000 bond through a bonding company and was released from Spokane County Jail about 10 p.m. Wednesday.

Payne is under court orders not to contact children or visit places where children gather. He's also wearing an ankle monitor that tracks his movements, said his lawyer, David Hearrean.

“I just don't want people to go out and try to take the law into their own hands,” Hearrean said. “What happened to innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt?”

Payne posted the bond through Smith Family Bail Bonds. Owner Chris Smith said he requires customers to pay 10 percent of the bond in cash and rarely allows extended payment plans. He declined to discuss the details of Payne's payment but said Payne is being mointored by a GPS tracker.

“We can actually see where he is within two meters at all times,” Smith said.

Hearrean said Payne is entitled to a reasonable bond.

“I just assure you he's under close monitoring. Not only by the bond company but by the court and others, including me,” Hearrean said. “He's not gong to violate any release conditions.”

Smith said he also is worried citizens may seek “vigilante justice.”

“As a professional bondsman, I understand when people in the community are considered when people in cases like this post a bond,” Smith said. “It is our job to keep that community risk as low as absolutely possible.”

Payne is to be back in court on July 5 for an arraignment.

Superior Court Judge Annette Plese cited Payne's danger to the community when she approved the $250,000 bond requested by the Spokane County Prosecutor's Office Wednesday afternoon.

One court official said it's the highest bond he's ever seen for a non-murder case.

Payne is a level 3 sex offender, which is the classification considered most likely to reoffend. He served 3 1/2 years in prison for grabbing a 9-year-old girl's crotch and buttocks while at a North Division Street store in 2001. He also has two convictions for fourth-degree assault that stem from child molestation claims, as well as a public indecency in Oregon in 1985 for fondling himself at a Sears store.

He has no further criminal history in Washington state.

Payne was arrested Tuesday after a Spokane police detective identified him as the man who touched a 5-year-old girl's  back, buttocks and upper thighs while exposing himself at Bumpers Family Fun Center in the mall on June 21. The girl's 11-year-old sister saw the incident, and the girls ran to tell their mother, who was shopping in another part of the mall.

Police obtained surveillance video of the incident and identified Payne through the sex offender registry.

He faces a charge of first-degree child molestation. He could stay in prison for the rest of his life if convicted. State law requires that sex offenders undergo risk assessments before being considered for release from prison.

Hearrean declined to discuss how Payne was able to come up with the bond money.

He said he fears his client won't be able to get a fair trial.

“Everybody deserves a fair trial,” Hearrean said.

Cops: Sex offender molested girl at mall

UPDATE: Payne bonded out of jail last night. Look for a follow up later.

A child molester with a history of sex crimes in public places could be jailed for life after he was arrested for exposing himself to a girl at the NorthTown Mall in Spokane.

Richard Michael Payne, 55, is accused of molesting a 5-year-old girl June 21 as she and her 11-year-old sister were playing in Bumpers Family Fun Center while their mother shopped.

Read the rest of my story here.

Mall robbery suspect arrested at Costco

Police say a man who stole a pair of shoes at knifepoint from the Northtown Mall on Wednesday had asked the store employee for help with his out-of-gas car just before the robbery.

 The employee helped the man pushed his Red Dodge Ram pickup into a parking spot, only to be threatened 30 minutes later after confronting him for stealing a pair of shoes from Champs Sports, police say.

Police identified Jason M. Giles, 33, (pictured) as a suspect on Thursday after he was arrested in a similar robbery at Costco, 7619 N. Division St.

A Costco employee confronted Giles about 4:45 p.m. after observing him hide merchandise in his coat and try to leave the store. Giles punched the employee and bit another employee before pulling a knife and trying to stab another, according to court documents prepared by police.

Giles was arrested on charges of first-degree robbery, first-degree assault and possession of methamphetamine. Detectives met with him at the jail and booked him on an additional robbery charge for the Champs Sports incident.

Giles appeared in Spokane County Superior Court via video from the jail, where he remains on $50,000 bond and a probation hold. He has a previous conviction for second-degree assault for a shooting in 2009.

Theft turns to robbery at Northtown Mall

Police are looking for a man who pulled a knife on a shoe store employee Tuesday night at the Northtown Mall.

The manager at Champs Sports told officers the man tried on a pair of shoes, then left without paying and threatened the manager with a knife when confronted, according to the Spokane Police Department. No one was injured.

The man ran through the mall and exited on the east side, then continued running east.

A K-9 track was unsuccessful. The robber is described as a white man, 20 to 30 years old, 6-feet tall and 180 pounds. He wore a blue coat over a dark hoodie and a stocking cap.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.
  

Beauty shop operator arrested for rape

The operator of a beauty shop in the NorthTown Mall in Spokane is in jail on rape charges involving two of his teenage employees.

Thomas C. Rohn, 37, is accused of sexually assaulting the 18- and 19-year-old women on separate occasions at his apartment in Airway Heights after they were hired to work at the mall beauty and spa kiosk.

Rohn operates the business with his roommate, Kirk Willis, who said Wednesday that he doesn’t know what happened but added that he doesn’t condone the alleged acts.

Read the rest of my story here.

Robbery suspects were wannabe roomies

Three teenagers accused of robbing women in north Spokane parking lots say they planned to use the money to get an apartment together, according to court documents.

Now Donovan T. Johnson, 18; Keona A. Crossley, 19; and Logan R. Sims, 18, are sharing space at Spokane County's crossbar motel.

The suspects were arrested Saturday after a standoff at Crossley's home at 1903 E. Decatur. Police found suspect Logan R. Sims, 18, in a nearby yard.

Johnson told detectives that two days befor the hesits, he and the other suspects discussed getting an apartment.

“Keona Crossley said they needed to do some licks to get money,” according to a probable cause affidavit. “Crossley talked about finding women and taking their purses from them. Sims said he could get a gun to help them do the robberies.”

Johnson said Crossley got a shutgun from a friend, but Sims used a black handgun to commit the first robbery at the North Colton Street Wal-Mart. The victim said Sims punched her in the face after she told him she didn't have any money, according to the affidavit.

Johnson said he didn't see Sims point the gun at the second victim outside Northtown Mall, but that he did have the gun on him during the robbery, police said.

A witness then reported occupants of a tan vehicle were dropping credit cards and receipts into the roadway near North Napa Street and East Central Avenue.

The cards belonged to the Northtown robbery victim, police said.

Police arrived at Crossley's home after locating a Cadillac matching the description of the car used in the robberies

All remain in jail on $75,000 bond after Judge Michael Price deemed them significant risks to the community.

Sims and Johnson are scheduled to graduate from high school next week.

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