Jury Finds Steven Pallett Guilty of Rape 1st Degree
Yesterday, November 20, 2018, a jury found Steven B. Pallett guilty of rape 1st with special verdict of firearms enhancement. He was found not guilty for the additional charge of kidnapping 1st Degree.
Pallett was arrested on September 21, 2017 after a lengthy and extensive investigation led by Sexual Assault Unit Detective Brandon Armstrong where over 17,000 cell phone numbers from two cell phone towers were analyzed and compared, eliminating all but 17 possibilities, one of which was Pallett’s.
After Pallett was arrested, a DNA sample was obtained from him. Latter testing confirmed the DNA sample from Pallett matched the DNA sample obtained from the victim’s sexual assault kit.
The standard sentencing range for Steven Pallett’s Rape 1st Degree conviction is 93 months to 123 months minimum and up to life. In addition to this sentence, the firearms enhancement carries an additional 5-year sentence to be served consecutive to the rape sentence determined by the judge.
Additionally, Pallett will be subject to lifetime supervision and lifetime sex offender registration.
Pallett’s sentencing hearing is January 18, 2019 at 8:30 a.m., in front of Judge McCay.
Updated release sent September 22, 2018:
UPDATE: Detectives Arrest Sexual Assault Suspect
Spokane Valley Sexual Assault Detectives arrested 46-year-old Steven B. Pallett yesterday afternoon, charging him with Kidnapping 1st Degree and Rape 1st Degree. Investigators identified Pallett using cell phone “tower dumps” obtained via a search warrant and systematically eliminating phone numbers which didn’t coincide with the crime timeline or details.
With the potential of additional victims or witnesses of Pallett’s behavior, we are releasing his photo. Detective Armstrong urges anyone who may have been victimized or knows of Pallett’s behavior to contact him at 509-477-6610.
On March 18, 2017, Sexual Assault Detectives began investigating a reported assault where the adult female victim stated she accepted a ride from a male suspect who was armed with a handgun and forced her to give him oral sex.
After interviewing the victim a few days later, she admitted she was working as a prostitute on March 18, 2017 when she was picked up by the suspect near Sprague and Hatch. The suspect drove to Valley Mission Park, near the A-frame wooden structure, and they both got out of the vehicle. The suspect told the victim he wasn’t paying her and retrieved a semi-auto pistol from his vehicle and pointed at her. He continued to threaten her with the handgun and forced her to give him oral sex before he fled in his vehicle.
A sexual assault kit was completed after the incident and a DNA sample obtained which resulted in a DNA profile. The profile was checked against other known DNA profiles in CODIS (FBI Combined DNA Index System) without success.
Sexual Assault Unit Detective Armstrong, assigned as the lead for this case, obtained a search warrant for a cell phone “tower dump” associated with local carriers servicing the area of Sprague and Hatch and Valley Mission Park during the specific time frames the suspect was believed to have picked up the victim (8:40-9:05 p.m.) and when the crime occurred (9:00-9:30 p.m.). This information (numbers only-no identifying information) produced over 17,000 cell phone numbers between all the carriers from the two locations. The numbers were cross referenced and numbers failing to match both locations during the determined time frames were eliminated. Of the remaining approximately 120 possible matches, females and males who did not fit the victim’s description of the suspect were eliminated, leaving 17 possibilities. While viewing driver’s license pictures of the 17 possibilities, only one (Steven Pallett) was immediately recognized as matching. Further research revealed Pallett owned a silver 2001 Chevy Cavalier, as well as additional information provided by the victim matched.
A search of the pawn database showed Pallett repeatedly pawned a .40 caliber semi-automatic pistol, which also matched the description given by the victim. Those records listed a phone number for Pallett which was the same number identified from the cell phone data.
A search of Pallett’s past showed he was reported, by name or exact license plate, as scaring, assaulting, or patronizing prostitutes, but none of these led to his arrest.
Yesterday afternoon, Pallett was arrested for Kidnapping 1st Degree and Rape 1st Degree and was transported to the Public Safety Building to be interviewed. Afterward, he was booked into the Spokane County Jail for these charges.
An additional search warrant was obtained for Pallett’s residence, located in the 5800 block of E. 4th Avenue, where detectives recovered a semi-auto handgun believed to have been used during this crime. A DNA sample was also obtained from Pallet. That sample will be analyzed and checked against the DNA profile obtained from the victim’s sexual assault kit and the CODIS database.