Man sentenced 14 years to life in prison or 2017 rape in Spokane Valley’s Mission Park

January 23, 2019

A man convicted of first-degree rape has been sentenced to at least 14 years in prison almost a year and a half after he was arrested for forcing a prostitute to perform oral sex at gunpoint.

Steven B. Pallet, 48, who was arrested Sept. 21, 2017 and has since been held in the Spokane County Jail, was convicted in November. A jury found him not guilty of a first-degree kidnapping charge.

Pallett’s arrest followed months of investigation by Brandon Armstrong, a detective in the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office sexual assault unit.

The investigation, which began March 18, 2017, found that Pallett had picked up a prostitute along East Sprague Avenue and ordered her to remove her clothing while he drove to Mission Park in Spokane Valley. There, police say, he raped her and left her barefoot, before she ran across a parking lot and was able to flag down a passing motorist.

The woman didn’t know Pallett’s name, but with a physical description, detectives were able to track phone numbers through cell phone records that produced a list of 17 individuals. Based on the victim’s description, Pallett’s license photo stood out, according to investigators. He also owned a car and once owned a gun that matched descriptions given by the woman.

A sample of Pallett’s DNA also matched evidence in the victim’s rape kit, police said.

Pallett was given a prison sentence Friday of 14 years to life. He must register as a sex offender upon his release.

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