Police make arrest in Maritime Heritage Park rape

Detectives track suspected rapist to Port Angeles

June 20, 2016 - by Mike Johnston, Lieutenant Investigations

Lance J. Rosa was arrested on June 17 in Port Angeles, Wash. for probable cause of second degree rape. Rosa, who has no known address, was booked into Whatcom County Jail later that evening. He is being charged for a sexual assault that occurred in Maritime Heritage Park on June 7

Detective Sue Howell, who was following up on the sexual assault case had identified Lance J. Rosa as a person of interest. Rosa had been staying in the park during the time of the sexual assault and looked similar to the composite drawing the victim had provided.  He also had similar clothing and physical characteristics to include a nipple ring the victim had described.

Officers of the Neighborhood Anti-Crime team had contacted Rosa at Maritime Heritage Park on June 9, two days after the sexual assault. When contacted by the officers he denied any sexual contact with anyone. Officers then asked Rosa if he would provide a voluntary DNA sample (buccal swab). Rosa provided a voluntary sample, which was then submitted to the Washington State Crime lab.  

Detective Howell was notified by the crime lab on June 17 of a DNA match to Lance J. Rosa.

Detective Howell's investigation had discovered that Rosa had purchased a train ticket to Edmonds on June 13 and then had taken a ferry to Port Angeles.  The Port Angeles police were then contacted; they were familiar with Rosa and located and detained him on Saturday June 18. Detectives made arrangements with Port Angeles police that afternoon and took Lance J. Rosa into custody for the sexual assault.

Detectives are still trying to ascertain and identify a possible second person involved in the sexual assault.  Rosa has refused to provide information concerning a second person's involvement in the crime at this time.

The efforts of the crime scene processing, evidence gathering and continued investigation by the detective in this case led to the arrest of Rosa. If you have any tips or information that you feel detectives should know, please call Detective Sue Howell at 360-778-8682 or report it on the City's website tip line at www.cob.org/tips.

Media Contact

Mike Johnston

Lieutenant Investigations



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