John Hauff Pleads Not Guilty to All Charges

Looking bedraggled but stoic in his red prison uniform and shackles, John Hauff appeared today at the King County courthouse for his arraignment. Answering "yes" each time prosecutor Sean O'Donnell asked if he understood a charge read against him, Hauff proceeded to enter pleas of not guilty to rape in the first degree, kidnap in the first degree, and assault in the second degree, all felonies (obviously).

Before entering the pleas, Hauff's court-appointed lawyer, Gary Davis, made a statement that seemed to lay the groundwork for a future appeal, should Hauff be convicted. Davis said that he and his client wanted it on record that they disagreed with Friday's ruling denying their request for a change of venue to Pierce County.

Davis also asked that the trial be delayed, until the second or third week of August, to give him time to prepare a proper defense. O'Donnell raised no objection, and Chief Criminal Court Judge Ronald Kessler granted the request.

Hauff is accused of luring a prostitute he picked up on Aurora Avenue on the evening of April 2 back to his remote trailer home in northeastern Tacoma before torturing and raping her for several hours. According to charging documents, Hauff let the woman go only after she revealed she'd texted his license plate number to her boyfriend while on the way to his house. On the subsequent drive back to Seattle, Hauff allegedly told the prostitute that he was a fan of the Gor novels, which portray men as warriors and women as their slaves.

For what it's worth, the peanut gallery in the 12th floor courtroom where King County arraigns its criminal defendants, which had labeled the arraignment of an alleged drug dealer appearing just before Hauff a "travesty" (because there are no jobs for the likes of him and now you're going to lock him up for turning to the illegal drug business?) and the proceedings in general to be a "mockery" of justice, snapped to attention when hearing the charges read against Hauff. When Hauff's plea was entered, one woman wondered aloud whether "y'all got some DNA?"

Time, we suspect, will tell.

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