SPD SVU Detectives Arrest Suspect Hours After Rape was Reported

Monique Cotton, Director of Communication and Public Information, 509.363.8285

Friday, September 19, 2014 at 12:47 p.m.

Spokane Police Special Victims Unit (SVU) detectives have arrested a suspect in connection to a rape, reported earlier this week. Paul T. Thornton (34) was arrested and booked into the Spokane County Jail on a charge of 2nd Degree Rape. With the assistance of the victim in providing an excellent suspect description, as well as diligent investigative follow up, SVU detectives were able to bring the suspect in a stranger-to-stranger rape (Thornton) into custody within hours of the rape report.

On Thursday, 9-18-14, at approximately 2:30 a.m., Spokane Police received a report that a rape victim had come to a local hospital for treatment. Officers as well as SVU detectives responded to the hospital to assist the victim and obtain information on the incident.

The victim reported that she had been raped the night before (Wednesday) by an individual she had met earlier that evening. She reported that she was on the front porch of a north Spokane home when the suspect, Paul T. Thornton, approached the home, started talking with her and then grabbed her, pulled her into a nearby abandoned garage, and sexually assaulted her.

SPD Patrol officers quickly located a crime scene associated with the incident (an abandoned garage where the assault took place) in the 6200 block of N. Astor. The scene was processed for evidence.

The victim was able to provide an excellent suspect description. From the description, as well as other information and evidence regarding the incident, detectives were able to quickly identify a suspect, Paul T. Thornton.

Thornton was located yesterday afternoon, Thursday 9/18/14, in the area of Division and Joseph. He was taken into custody without incident and booked into the Spokane County Jail for 2nd Degree Rape.

The thorough investigation and quick arrest in this incident demonstrates the Spokane Police Department and the detectives of the SVU will not tolerate criminal activity, including sexual violence, and those who commit these offenses will be quickly located and apprehended.

Thornton will appear in court today at 1:30 p.m.

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