Transient living on sailboat charged with rape

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A 28-year-old transient man has pleaded not guilty to second-degree rape of a 20-year-old Port Townsend woman stemming from a Feb. 10 incident on a boat moored offshore the Port Townsend Boat Haven.

Joseph Alan Packwood appeared in Jefferson County Superior Court on Feb. 12 and pleaded not guilty in a Feb. 16 arraignment. At the Feb. 12 hearing, his bail was set at $25,000, and he was ordered to surrender any weapons, according to court records.

Packwood had been living on a boat anchored in Port Townsend Bay.

As of Tuesday, March 13, Packwood remained in Jefferson County Jail.

Sam Feinson of Faber and Feinson was assigned as his attorney by the court, as Packwood declared he did not have the means to pay for an attorney. Packwood also was ordered not to have contact with two Port Townsend women.

A trial is set for April 16-18.

According to a probable-cause statement, two women were on a boat with Packwood and another man on Feb. 10. The boat was anchored 300-500 feet off the Port Townsend Boat Haven.

A Port Townsend Police Department officer responded to a call at 8:10 p.m. about a possible sexual assault.

One woman told officers she had been sleeping on the boat next to a girlfriend when she woke up feeling a pain. She said the woman who was with her saw what had happened. Both women tried to wake up another man so they could get off the boat, they told police, according to the report.

After interviewing the women, the responding police officer called the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office for permission to use a patrol boat, and another officer took that boat to the sailboat that Packwood was on and talked to him. Packwood told officers he only remembered waking up on the floor with women screaming.

The woman who reported the incident said she did not want to drive to Kitsap County’s Harrison Medical Center for a rape kit exam or evaluation by a sexual assault nurse examiner and wanted to take a shower and go to bed, a police officer wrote in a case report.

The Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office has filed an affidavit of prejudice against Jefferson County Superior Court Judge Keith Harper in this case, indicating the office does not believe it can obtain a fair trial on this particular sex-offense case.

Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Julie St. Marie said March 8 that it would be inappropriate for her to comment further on why the office has filed that affidavit.

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