Sheriff's Office arrests kidnapping and rape suspect; Looking fo - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Sheriff's Office arrests kidnapping and rape suspect; Looking for any additional victims

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Steven Pallett Steven Pallett
SPOKANE, Wash. -

Detectives have arrested a 46-year-old man for kidnapping and rape and are now asking for anyone who may have been victimized by Steven Pallett to contact them. 

Back in March, Spokane County Sexual Assault Detectives began looking into an assault where a woman said she accepted a ride from a man who was armed with a handgun and force her to give him oral sex. 

The woman admitted to working as a prostitute when she was picked up by the man at Sprague and Hatch. The suspect drove to Valley Mission Park and they both got out of the car. The suspect told the woman he wasn't paying her and then took out a pistol from his car and pointed it at her. He forced her to perform the sex act while threatening her with the gun and then fled in his car. 

A DNA sample was taken and checked against other known DNA profiles without success. 

Detectives then obtained a search warrant for a cell phone "tower dump" associated with local carriers in the area during the specific time frames the assault was believed to have happened. The information produced over 17,000 cell phone numbers between all the carriers in the area. 

"The numbers were cross referenced and numbers failing to match both locations during the determined time frames were eliminated," the Sheriff's Office said. "Of the remaining approximately 120 possible matches, females and males who did not fit the victim’s description of the suspect were eliminated, leaving 17 possibilities."

While viewing driver's license photos of the 17 possibilities, only Steven Pallett was immediately recognized as matching. Detectives then found that Pallett owned the same kind of car the victim said the suspect was driving. 

A search of the pawn database showed Pallett repeatedly pawned a .40 caliber semi-automatic pistol, which also matched the description given by the victim.  Those records listed a phone number for Pallett which was the same number identified from the cell phone data.  

A search of Pallett’s past showed he was reported, by name or exact license plate, as scaring, assaulting, or patronizing prostitutes, but none of these led to his arrest.

Thursday afternoon, Pallett was arrested for Kidnapping 1st Degree and Rape 1st Degree and was transported to the Public Safety Building to be interviewed.  Afterward, he was booked into the Spokane County Jail for these charges. 

An additional search warrant was obtained for Pallett’s residence, located in the 5800 block of E. 4th Avenue, where detectives recovered a semi-auto handgun believed to have been used during this crime.  A DNA sample was also obtained from Pallet.  That sample will be analyzed and checked against the DNA profile obtained from the victim’s sexual assault kit and the CODIS database.    

"With the potential of additional victims or witnesses of Pallett’s behavior, we are releasing his photo," the Sheriff's Office said. "Detective Armstrong urges anyone who may have been victimized or knows of Pallett’s behavior to contact him at 509-477-6610." 

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