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Seattle lawyer sentenced to 25 years for raping massage therapists

By Jimmy Lovaas

SEATTLE (Reuters) - A prominent attorney was sentenced on Monday to 25 years in prison after pleading guilty to raping five women at Asian massage parlors in the Seattle area, his lawyer said.

The sentence was part of a plea agreement allowing Danford Grant, a 49-year-old, married father of three and former partner in a law firm, to avoid a possible life sentence if convicted of first-degree rape.

Grant pleaded guilty earlier this month to five counts of third-degree rape and one count of first-degree burglary. His attorney, Richard Hansen, said Grant will receive about 20 months' credit for time served and could be released in 15 years.

King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg said Grant, who will also have to register as a sex offender upon release, targeted victims he believed would be too intimidated or ashamed to come forward.

Grant was arrested in September 2012 after employees from a Seattle-area massage parlor tried to detain him following an attack on a massage therapist, according to charging documents.

His arrest in 2012 sent shock waves through the Seattle legal community. Grant was a partner at a local firm and his wife a supervising assistant city attorney at the Seattle City Attorney's Office when he was taken into custody.

"I know that I should be punished and prison is a just punishment and I willingly submit to prison as my punishment," Grant said in a statement during sentencing. "Although the truth about what I did is dramatically different than what was alleged, I do not minimize my real wrongs and my apology for those particular wrongs is genuine and heartfelt."

Letters from four of the five victims were also read in court.

"I often have nightmares which sometimes have caused me to not be able to sleep at night," one victim wrote. "Sometimes, when I walk down the street and see someone who resembles him, I become very nervous and terrified because I'm not sure if that person might be him."

(Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Matthew Lewis)

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