Man who attacked prostitutes gets 49 1/2 years

She was a prostitute. He was a "john." But what she got from the deal struck that night along Pacific Highway South near SeaTac wasn't money.

In no time, she would run bleeding through woods near the intersection of Highway 18 and Pacific Highway South in Federal Way, jump a fence and bury herself in leaves as her attacker, Jamal Khan, leaped the fence after her, shouting he was going to kill her.

That was an afternoon last February.

Yesterday, in King County Superior Court, Khan was sentenced to 49 1/2 years in prison on two counts of rape, two counts of attempted rape, attempted murder and kidnapping. The charges stemmed from attacks on four women, all prostitutes.

Judge Charles Mertel called the 34-year-old Kent man's crimes "horrendous," noting the attacks left Khan's four victims frightened, bleeding and dumped at garbage sites.

According to court documents, the victim in the February attack agreed to sex for $75 and got into Khan's car. But Khan pulled a knife, tied her hands, blindfolded her with black lingerie and drove her to a wooded area strewn with garbage. It was there he cut her clothing off with a knife, threatened to "cut her into little pieces," then did cut and rape her until she was able to escape.

The woman eventually walked naked to the highway and summoned help from a passer-by.

Khan raped one other woman and attempted to rape two more from March 1998 until he was arrested May 25, 1999.

Police contacted him after an attack in July 1998 but took no action after he told them he was giving the woman a ride when she offered sex for money. Court documents say he claimed the woman had attacked him, forcing him to defend himself with a knife.

At the time of his arrest in May, he denied any knowledge of the other attacks. Police, however, found a knife in his car that they say is the weapon used in the attacks.

Although Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Scott O'Toole asked for an exceptional sentence, Mertel sentenced Khan to the high end of the standard range, a sentence Khan is expected to appeal.

Antonio Salazar, his attorney, asked the court for leniency.

"I don't mean to offend the court or the women who testified," Salazar said. But the victims in the case "engaged in prostitution. They were getting into cars late at night with men they didn't know.

"It's a little bit different," he said, "than if it were some housewife."

Two victims in the courtroom sobbed loudly and momentarily left the room.

Later, one told the court the rape had given her the reason to straighten out her life, but it had been devastating to her.

Khan's sister sobbed and told Mertel that since her brother moved to the United States from Pakistan three years ago, he has worked two jobs and was always a devoted brother.

He "is not that kind of person at all," she said. "If you only knew how he was back home."

Nancy Bartley's phone message number is 206-515-5039. Her e-mail address is nbartley@seattletimes.co.