Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Man charged with raping 14-year-old Spokane runaway

A man raped a 14-year-old Spokane runaway after meeting her at a bus stop and giving her alcohol in August, court documents say.

Ronald F. Edwards, 49, was charged with kidnapping, rape, child rape, luring a child and evidence tampering earlier this month for the August assault.

The victim ran away from her South Hill home on Aug. 2 and was waiting at a bus stop near the West Wynn Motel when Edward approached her, court documents say.

Edwards offered to give her bus fare before telling her to come with him to the woods behind the old Sunset Inn, according to court records.

The victim told police Edwards asked her questions about her sexual experience and if she had been with an older man before. Edwards gave the victim two alcoholic drinks and asked her if she smoked before offering her methamphetamine, court documents say.

The victim told police she drank one of the drinks after Edwards again promised he would give her money for a bus ticket if she did so.

When the victim refused another drink, Edwards got aggressive, bit her, kissed her neck and grabbed her upper thigh forcefully, court records say.

The victim was assaulted further, and Edwards burned her hand with a cigarette when she resisted, court records say.

During the assault, the victim was able to text her mother her location and asked her to call the police.

Edwards then forced the victim to take the SIM card and battery out of her phone, according to court documents. The victim’s mother and police arrived to the scene soon after.

Edwards was arrested and told police he spotted the victim at the bus stop and began talking to her. After she said she’d been fighting with her parents, Edwards told police he encouraged the victim to listen to her parents before offering her a meal and bus fare.

The victim was taken to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center for a sexual assault examination, and court records indicate she had bruising consistent with the assault. The victim also had a man’s name “carved” into her thigh, but it is unclear in court records when this took place or it if was related to the assault.

The victim later told a forensic interview specialist, “He just kept holding me down and threatening me.”

Edwards denied assaulting the victim but did not deny that he had started a conversation with her, court records say.

After police obtained a search warrant to collect DNA evidence from Edwards’ body, he became uncooperative. Edwards urinated in his pants “intentionally” before the warrant was served, according to court documents. When police attempted to collect Edwards’ underwear as evidence, he took them off and began “vigorously stomping on them,” court records show.

The victim’s DNA was found on Edwards’ genitals, court records show. Edwards’ DNA was also found on the victim’s body.

At the time of the incident, Edwards had a Department of Corrections warrant for escaping community custody. Court documents show Edwards was chronically homeless and has a lengthy criminal history.

Edwards was accused of attempting to snatch a 2-year-old girl from her mother at River Park Square in 2017 and pleaded guilty to a lesser charge. He was also investigated after an inmate in the Spokane County Jail overdosed on prescription drugs authorities believed came from Edwards. He has prior convictions for domestic violence assault, burglary, lewd conduct, driving under the influence and possession of a controlled substance.

Edwards’ arraignment is scheduled for Tuesday.