A state appeals court has upheld a Richland man’s convictions for beating and raping a Pasco woman in 2011, saying “the evidence amply supported the verdicts.”
Jonathan Keenan Gordon, 35, had tried to get his case tossed on grounds that the evidence wasn’t there and that his right to get a trial within a certain amount of time was violated.
The Washington Court of Appeals, in its opinion released this week, decided that Gordon’s claims are without merit.
Gordon is serving a minimum 22-year term at Stafford Creek Corrections Center in Aberdeen.
His sentence also carries a maximum term of life, meaning Gordon must serve every day of the minimum time before the state’s Indeterminate Sentence Review Board will decide if he is ready to be released.
A Franklin County Superior Court jury in January 2013 convicted Gordon of second-degree rape and second-degree assault with sexual motivation.
The victim told Franklin County sheriff’s deputies in May 2011 that Gordon and another man took her to the Stonegate Apartments on Road 68.
While raping the woman, Gordon also repeatedly struck her, bit her and strangled her, court documents show. There were a number of butcher knives placed throughout the room, and the victim told deputies she feared he would use one on her if she resisted.
Gordon failed to appear for his April 2012 trial. Authorities later discovered that he was in jail in another county on separate charges. After he was convicted and sent to prison for the other case, he was transported to Franklin County jail for trial on their sex case.
He ended up going to trial about 15 months after he first was arraigned. Records show during that time there were no written objections and no motions challenging any trial date, the Court of Appeals noted.
At sentencing, Gordon said it was crazy he was found guilty because two witnesses had testified at trial that he hadn’t committed the crime. However, the appeals court noted that his two housemates confirmed much of the victim’s testimony.
Gordon has a lengthy criminal history, including taking a vehicle without permission, theft and theft of a firearm, robbery and multiple burglaries.