TACOMA, Wash. – Terapon Adhahn, a handyman who police say directed them to the body of a 12-year-old Tacoma girl, pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges he violently raped two other girls: one who was abducted on her way to school in 2000, and another who lived with him from ages 12 to 15.
It was Adhahn's first court appearance since his arrest July 8, when detectives working the case of Zina Linnik, who was abducted during a neighborhood fireworks display July 4, tracked him down at a home in Parkland, south of Tacoma. Detectives say he provided information that led them to the girl's body in rural Pierce County, and that during the course of the investigation they discovered the other victims.
Adhahn, who was convicted of incest in 1990 after violently raping his then 16-year-old half-sister, entered the pleas to 12 charges in Pierce County Superior Court: one count of first-degree kidnapping; four counts of first-degree rape; three counts of second-degree rape; three counts of third-degree child rape; and one count of failing to register as a sex offender.
Deputy Prosecutor Ed Murphy said Thursday he expects to charge Adhahn next week in Zina's abduction and death.
Bail was set at slightly more than $2 million on Thursday, and Adhahn was scheduled for trial Sept. 13. The courtroom was packed with people, including relatives of Linnik and a now 19-year-old woman who was abducted on her way to school in 2000.
The woman declined to speak with reporters, but her mother, Nancy Rasmussen, said her daughter is glad Adhahn has been caught and that she's eager to address him in court.
"She is more mad than anything," Rasmussen said. "She wants to do things to him that I can't say."
Police in suburban Lakewood, meanwhile, have named Adhahn a person of interest in the killing of Adre'Anna Jackson, a 10-year-old girl whose remains were found in a Pierce County field last year.
Since his arrest, Adhahn had been held in federal custody on a potential immigration violation. On Wednesday, Tacoma police booked him into the Pierce County Jail for investigation of dozens of charges — including 50 counts of child rape. The charges actually filed against him are representative of those counts and related to two victims other than Zina or Adre'Anna.
One is a 19-year-old Wichita, Kan., girl who told investigators she lived with Adhahn in Spanaway from ages 12 to 15. She said he molested her as many as 200 times — during at least 15 of which she was "physically restrained and held down when the defendant raped her," according to an affidavit for probable cause. One of those times was at gunpoint, it said.
The other is an 11-year-old girl abducted on her way to school in May 2000. She was brutally attacked and dropped off in a remote area of Fort Lewis. Investigators collected DNA and filed charges in 2002 against a John Doe suspect with that DNA profile.
Adhahn is a Thai immigrant who came to the U.S. in the 1970s after his mother married a U.S. soldier. Adhahn himself enlisted in the Army in 1983 after graduating from an American high school in Germany, but his service ended following his incest conviction, for which he was sentenced to two months in jail and five years of counseling. He told his counselors during his treatment that he had been raped countless times by an older brother while growing up in Thailand.