Joel L. Kaech looks toward lawyers during his hearing in Lewis County Superior Court this afternoon.
By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter
CHEHALIS – Lewis County prosecutors held off on filing any criminal charges today against the Salkum man arrested yesterday for the alleged kidnapping and rape of a 32-year-old Longview woman.
Joel L. Kaech, 25, will be held with no bail at the Lewis County Jail at least until tomorrow when the state should be in a better position to make an informed decision, according to authorities.
The alleged incident came to the attention of police, who made contact with the alleged victim around 8:25 p.m. on Saturday at the Goodwill store in Centralia after she reportedly ran away from Kaech at the skate park across Harrison Avenue.
She told law enforcement officers Kaech earlier had picked up her and a mutual friend in Longview, but kicked the friend out of the car and said, “Now you are my hostage,” according to court papers filed today.
The alleged victim told of being driven to the Spiffy’s parking lot on U.S. Highway 12 and raped and then to Kaech’s home in Salkum where he would take a shower and pick up some clothing, telling his mother not to let her leave, according to the declaration of probable cause.
The document offers other details including the following:
The alleged victim told a sheriff’s deputy Kaech drove them to a state park where he wanted to pick up some hidden stolen items – which he allegedly wanted to sell to get money to buy drugs, but they were not found – and to a church parking lot to sleep. She reported she awoke to Kaech breaking in to the building and he threatened he would kill her if she didn’t help.
She told the deputy he then drove to a secluded place off U.S. Highway 12 where he allegedly pulled her by the hair into the back seat and once again raped her. Then they traveled to the skate park in Centralia. She also said she was threatened with a metal pipe.
When found sleeping in his car on Stowell Road in Salkum yesterday and questioned, Kaech denied knowing the alleged victim.
In Lewis County Superior Court today, Kaech talked back to the judge, and was told he would be held in contempt for 30 days, and then 30 more days when he did it again.
Lewis County Prosecutor Sheila Weirth had asked for bail to be set at $500,000, but Judge James Lawler made it a no-bail hold after the first outburst.
His temporary defense attorney Joely O’Rourke said afterwards, Kaech hadn’t known the details of the accusations being leveled against him until he got into the courtroom this afternoon.
“He was frustrated, as you can imagine,” O’Rourke said. “He didn’t have an opportunity to read though the probable cause statement until he got to court.”
Deputies saw a metal pipe in his car and applied for a search warrant to look for evidence in the vehicle, according to the court papers. The documents also relate that the alleged victim was taken to Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia for evidence collection.
Prosecutors asked for and were granted the opportunity to keep Kaech in jail and bring him before a judge again tomorrow afternoon.
For background, read “News brief: Kidnapping investigation leads to Salkum resident” from Monday February 1, 2016, here