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Recently released sex offender arrested for rape

A sex offender released from federal prison last month is accused of raping a Spokane prostitute in an attack that was discovered by an observant state trooper patrolling traffic.

Derrick Ross Vargas, 24, was arrested early Friday after a Washington State Patrol trooper said he stopped him for driving with a broken taillight and a woman jumped out of the truck and yelled “He raped me!”

The woman was treated at a hospital for bruises, cuts and scratches and told Spokane police detectives she’d stabbed Vargas several times with a pocket knife after he attacked her in his apartment in the 5000 block of East Trent Avenue, according to court documents.

The woman said she was working as a prostitute on East Sprague Avenue near South Altamont Street when Vargas approached in a red early-90s Chevrolet pickup and offered her $40 to perform oral sex. She agreed, but when they arrived at his apartment she said Vargas raped her and strangled her unconscious. She regained consciousness and struggled with him, but he wrapped a lamp cord around her neck and continued the assault.

Police say he forced her to shower with him to remove blood but agreed to drive her home after about 1 ½ hours, which led to the traffic stop at Division Street and Francis Avenue.

A sexual assault detective with the Spokane Police Department observed bite marks on her left cheek and forearm as well as cuts on her fingers and “obvious red bruising on her neck.” The detective found chunks of blood in her hair, which the woman believes is Vargas’.

Another detective talked to Vargas and said he smelled of intoxicants. He noted scrapes and minor cuts on his hand, as well as small punctures on his upper left chest and shoulder that was consistent with the victim stabbing him.

Vargas requested an attorney and did not discuss the allegations. He remains in Spokane County Jail on $250,000 bail after appearing in Superior Court Friday afternoon on a first-degree rape charge.

Vargas was released from federal prison on Aug. 2 and is on probation for three years, according to online records. If he does post bail he won’t be able to leave jail because of a federal probation hold.

Vargas was sent to prison in September 2007 after pleading guilty to sexual abuse of a minor. The charge stemmed from Vargas’ relationship with a 13-year-old girl. He was 19 when the two began dating and was indicted by a federal grand jury after the girl’s mother learned of the relationship and told police. The case was prosecuted federally because the abuse occurred on the Colville Indian Reservation.

A plea deal dropped an additional charge of aggravated sexual abuse, which his lawyer said was the result of consensual sex with a woman whose boyfriend found out about the contact.

The allegations were similar to those from Friday - Vargas was accused of raping the woman and choking her unconscious.

His lawyer at his sentencing in 2007 described him as “a young man with an alcohol abuse problem” who needed counseling.

Vargas wrote a judge in December 2008 from federal prison in Illinois and said he’d been unable to be transferred to a facility with a drug treatment program.



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