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Vashon man charged with raping two teenagers, including an assault in 2003

A longtime Islander has been charged with two counts of first-degree rape for assaulting two teen girls — one last January and another in 2003 — both times by allegedly sneaking into the girls’ home while their parents were asleep in another room.

Brian Dublin, 27, is being held in the King County Jail on $500,000 bail. Charges also include two counts of first-degree burglary.

Dublin, a 2000 graduate of Vashon High School, was arrested in Seattle without incident, according to a news release issued by the sheriff’s office. If convicted, he could face 20 years to life in prison, a spokesman for the King County Prosecutor’s office said.

The most recent incident occurred on Jan. 10, when Dublin allegedly snuck into the teen’s home through an unlocked door, raped her, then threatened to kill her if she told anyone, according to the sheriff’s office and the girl’s parents. As soon as the man left, the girl ran into her parents’ room and told them what had happened, charging papers said.

The girl told detectives she thought her attacker was Dublin, whom she had seen at a party earlier that night and who sometimes sent her strange text messages, according to charging papers. But when deputies questioned Dublin, he denied it, saying he had been at the Red Bicycle that night, had a beer with a friend and had then gone home.

Detectives asked Dublin at the time if he’d offer up some saliva samples so as to eliminate himself as a suspect, according to court documents. Dublin, detectives said, declined, “stating he did not feel obligated to help us clear his name,” the report says.

Dublin remained a “person of interest” while detectives continued their investigation, using semen collected by way of a rape kit examination of the victim at Harborview Medical Center.

On Feb. 14, the state Crime Lab matched the DNA in the semen sample with DNA that was collected after an assault that took place near the Vashon Island Golf & Country Club on Oct. 8, 2003, a case that had never been solved.

Detectives then learned that Dublin had been arrested in Chelan County last March on drug charges. A glass smoking pipe confiscated in that arrest was submitted to the lab and was found to have a possible match to the DNA obtained from the two sexual assaults.

With that information in hand, detectives went to court on April 6 and obtained a search warrant ordering Dublin to give them a saliva sample. That sample contained DNA that matched the DNA obtained from the two rapes on Vashon, the sheriff’s office said. The chances of selecting the wrong person based on the two DNA samples was one in 130 quadrillion, the Crime Lab reported.

Det. Michael Gordon, a member of the sheriff’s office’s Sexual Assault Unit, investigated the 2003 rape and said he was pleased to have finally apprehended someone for the assault. At the same time, he added, Dublin’s arrest is bittersweet.

“We did a lot of work on that case. The hardest part is that at some point you think the only way you can catch him is if he does it again. ... We caught him, but it had to result in another victim,” Gordon said.

The 2003 incident was similar to the one in January, court documents suggest. As in the most recent incident, the perpetrator snuck into the house, got into the girl’s bed and told her that he’d kill her if she reported what happened.

As he left her house, according to court documents, he told her he didn’t want to read about the account in The Beachcomber — then said “sweet dreams” before slipping away.

Those who know Dublin, however, said they’re surprised by the news of his arrest. Dublin, an Island carpenter, has two sons from two different relationships. One of his friends said he frequently saw him at ballfields with his older son, an elementary-age child who plays Little League on Vashon.

“We’re just sick about it,” said Ken Stone, whose adult son, Jeremy, is a good friend of Dublin’s. “We don’t get it. We can’t figure it out.”

Stone said Dublin had a hard childhood; his father was killed in a car accident when he was a boy. But, he added, he seemed to have overcome the difficulties of his youth.

“He was just the nicest kid you’d ever want to know,” Stone said.

The father of the girl who was assaulted in January, meanwhile, said he and his family are relieved that an arrest has finally been made. He added, though, that they feel compassion for Dublin’s relatives.

“We don’t hold anything against them,” he said.

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