Spokane Valley man charged with rape

A Spokane Valley man is accused of raping a woman behind a gas station, but he hasn’t been arrested. The alleged victim said she can’t understand why.

The judge read 20-year-old Dakota Larson his rights and told him he’s being charged with second-degree rape in a Spokane County court room on Wednesday. He told the judge he’s pleading not guilty. The woman accusing him, 18-year-old Elisha Sherwood.

There were more than 20 people supporting Sherwood at the Spokane County Courthouse.

They had matching shirts that said, “#JusticeForElly.”

This all stems from an assault Sherwood said happened in August when she said she and Larson left a party together.

“He took me to the back of the gas station around the side. And, he started to get very aggressive. And, it kind of happened from there,” Sherwood said.

Court documents charge Larson with second degree rape, saying he caused bodily injury to her by forcing his hands on her neck and raping her for his sexual gratification.

Spokane County Sheriff’s Office told 4 News Now, because no one witnessed the actual assault, they needed to get more information. The sheriff’s office said deputies got conflicting information from witnesses who were with both Larson and Sherwood before the alleged attack.

Sherwood’s family is upset Larson was never arrested, but instead issued a summons for him to come to court Wednesday, where he pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Larson was told by his attorney not to talk to media outlets. The judge set a trial date for late December. He was released on his own recognizance Wednesday and ordered not to have any contact with Sherwood.