Arrow-right Camera

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Monday, November 18, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Fog 40° Fog
News >  Spokane

Sex offender arrested after stop

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

Derrick Ross Vargas, 24, was arrested early Friday after a Washington State Patrol trooper 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. She told Spokane police detectives she’d stabbed Vargas several times with a pocketknife 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 choked her unconscious. She regained consciousness and struggled with him, but he wrapped a lamp cord around her neck and continued the assault, the woman said.

Police say he forced her to shower with him to remove blood but agreed to drive her home after about 1  1/2 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 the woman’s left cheek and forearm as well as cuts on her fingers and “obvious red bruising on her neck.” The detective found blood in her hair, which the woman believes is Vargas’.

Another detective talked to Vargas and said he smelled of intoxicants. Vargas had scrapes and minor cuts on his hand, as well as small punctures on his upper left chest and shoulder that were consistent with being stabbed.

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 on 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. Even if he posts 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; he 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.

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

Subscribe to the Morning Review newsletter

Get the day’s top headlines delivered to your inbox every morning by subscribing to our newsletter.

You have been successfully subscribed!
There was a problem subscribing you to the newsletter. Double check your email and try again, or email