North Kitsap Herald


Man allegedly assaults woman he met online

August 12, 2014 · Updated 11:04 AM

POULSBO — A Poulsbo man has been accused of keeping a woman he met online captive in the Olympic National Forest, where he allegedly assaulted her.

Kitsap County Sheriff's Office deputies were able to track the captive woman down after the man moved her to a shed behind his parents' home, and she was able to covertly call 911 on her cellphone.

Jeffery Dean Durham, 30, of Poulsbo was charged in Kitsap District Court with second degree assault in the wake of the incident.

According to a report from the sheriff's office, Durham and the woman dated after meeting on Craigslist. But when Durham reportedly became obsessive and controlling, the woman broke off the relationship. Durham, though, recently convinced the woman to take a drive with him and he drove her to the Olympic National Forest where he kept her against her will for "several days," according to the report.

While in the forest, the woman attempted to escape several times, but Durham punched her in the eye, hit her on the side of the head, and tackled her, according to the report. He also reportedly made her take her clothes off. He took her cellphone, credit cards and keys.

The sheriff's report states Durham eventually moved the woman to a shed behind a family member's home in Poulsbo on Aug. 4 or Aug. 5 where he continued to keep her captive. She reportedly tried to escape while at the shed, but was chased and grabbed once more, however, the woman was able to access her cellphone during the escape and called 911 on Aug. 5.

"Through her resourceful actions to leave her cellphone with an open line and hide it in her pants, we were able to track the call to her location and find her," the sheriff's report states.

Durham discovered that the woman made the 911 call, though, and retaliated by strangling her until she nearly passed out, the report states. He reportedly held his hand over her mouth and told her to call 911 back and say that she was OK.

Sheriff's deputies soon arrived at the shed. The woman reportedly ran from the shed and said "Thank God you found me."

Durham was arrested on Aug. 5 shortly after 11 p.m.

It is the second charge that Durham currently faces in Kitsap County District Court. He was recently charged with second degree rape of an intoxicated woman that allegedly occurred in March.

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