by Matt Rosenberg May 20th, 2013
Since early March Olad Hussein Kaynan, 24, a Somalian refugee who lived with his family in the North Highline Unincorporated Area of south King County has been in jail in Seattle charged with three counts of child rape in the first degree. His bail is set at $200,000. It’s been almost five years since he was first charged but state psychiatrists, defense and prosecuting attorneys, and King County judges have kept him in a cycle of custody that has so far not allowed him the opportunity to go to trial and clear his name.
Instead he has mainly been civilly committed at Western State Hospital in Steilacoom, but re-charged twice after temporary releases to see his family. Recent court documents hint that cycle – tied to repeated determinations he is not mentally “competent” to stand trial – may well continue as the current and third try by King County prosecutors for a trial unfolds.
His sister Ayan Kaynan, 29, has had enough. She says he’s innocent and deserves to have his day in court.
Child rapes alleged to have occurred in North Highline daycare facility
In the most recent filing of charges in March, Kaynan is again alleged from July 2005 through March 2007 to have on a regular and recurring basis anally raped a boy who was then aged five to seven and enrolled in a home-based daycare center operated by Kaynan’s mother Maryan Dirir in her home. Kaynan’s last known address was in the 400 block of SW 113th Place in unincorporated North Highline, which family members confirm is where the daycare facility was, though they have moved to a nearby location, and the daycare facility has long since been shuttered by the state.
Allegedly put candy in victim’s mouth or taped it shut
According to the King County Sheriff’s probable cause report filed at the time and attached to the current case file, Kaynan, who was age 16 to 18 over the course of the alleged child rapes, “on a regular basis, almost every day as described by (the alleged victim),” took him into a room in the house and anally raped him. The sheriff’s report states sometimes Kaynan put candy in his mouth and sometimes taped his mouth shut. The boy and an older brother were among several children who stayed after school in Dirir’s home daycare center where her son Kaynan lived, and mostly for full days in summer, according to court documents.
Although county prosecutors have been persistent and aggressive in re-filing charges whenever Kaynan is released from Western State, getting the case to trial has been complicated. In court documents he is said to be unable to distinguish between jury deliberations and a judge’s sentence, and to have “cognitive functioning…within the range of mild mental retardation or borderline intellectual functioning.”
At the direction of King County Superior Court James E. Rogers earlier this month, a state psychiatrist will for the third time since 2008 develop a recommendation on whether Kaynan should once more be civilly committed rather than face trial.
In rejecting a mid-April defense motion to dismiss the case, Rogers nonetheless broadly signaled in court documents that given a refreshed expert validation of Kaynan’s incapacity to stand trial, he may well be ready to dismiss the case.
Two prior dismissals already
After initial charges were filed in September, 2008, King County Superior Court Judge Sharon S. Armstrong nine months later dismissed the case without prejudice based on findings by psychiatrists at Western State that Kaynan was mentally incompetent to stand trial, largely due to a diagnosis then of schizophrenia, court documents show. “Without prejudice” means the case can be re-filed at a later date.
Prosecutors re-filed charges in December 2011 when Kaynan was cleared to leave Western State for a holiday season visit to his family. Mental health experts this time diagnosed him not with schizophrenia, but instead as having cognitive barriers to understanding the legal proceedings against him. The case was then for a second time dismissed without prejudice, in August of 2012 by King County Circuit Court Judge Judge Ronald Kessler.
After each dismissal Kaynan was returned to Western State for further treatment. That has included “competency restoration” classes and participating in group discussions in his ward.
When prosecutors learned in September 2012 that Kaynan could earn eligibility in coming weeks for temporary unescorted leave, they began preparing to refile the charges again. That happened in early March of this year, and Kaynan’s defense attorney John Ostermann has since argued that Kaynan continues to lack the basic mental capacity to understand courtroom proceedings and assist in his own defense, and that prosecutors are pursuing a “vindictive” course of action.
Performing the new assessment of Kaynan’s mental capacity to stand trial will be the author of the last one, in August 2012. He is a University of Washington Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry named Ray Hendrickson, who also works for the Washington Department of Social and Health Services at Western State.
The investigation leading to initial filing of criminal charges began after the mother of the alleged victim began to prepare for opening her own in-home daycare operation, according to the county sheriff’s probable cause report in charging documents. In May 2008 she warned her two sons to avoid any improper touching of the girls who would attend. The older brother of the alleged victim then told the mother about Kaynan’s alleged taking of his younger brother into a room regularly at the day-care facility they attended.
About a month later, after his mother once again introduced the general subject, by talking about “good touch, bad touch,” the alleged victim, according to documents, “asked if he would go to hell if someone touched him in a bad way” and told his mother of the alleged anal rapes by Kaynan. He detailed his allegations later to a King County forensic child interview specialist and related charges were subsequently filed for the first time in September, 2008.
Kaynan’s sister wants “the court to listen to our side”
Reached by phone at the home of the mother Maryan Dirir, Kaynan’s sister Ayan Kaynan, 29, firmly insisted he is completely innocent of the charges and said she would like to see a trial go forward so that he can clear his name. “We wish that there would be a trial and a court that would listen to our side,” she told Public Data Ferrt.
Asserts child victim was “coached” on what to say
The mother of the alleged victim “coached” him on what say, asserts Ayan Kaynan. “My brother didn’t do anything. God knows it, we know it. He is just an innocent little boy.” Asked her assessment of his mental capabilities she said, “He is not normal, he is a little bit disturbed.”
Ayan Kaynan confirmed her mother’s daycare center was shut down by the state of Washington shortly after the investigation of the alleged child rapes began. State records show the daycare license of a Maryan Dirir Mahamud in the 98146 zip code was revoked in August 2008. Ayan Kaynan said the family has four children, her and three brothers, and the father remains in Somalia.
A message left for the mother of the alleged victim, seeking comment on the case, has not yet been returned. According to charging papers, she was planning to open a daycare center of her own around the time she learned from her son and his older brother, who was also in Dirir’s daycare center with him, of the alleged abuse by Olad Kaynan. Ayan Kaynan claims the woman was motivated by jealousy of Dirir’s operation of a daycare center to try to drive her out of business by using her son to fabricate charges of sex abuse there.
The charging papers against Kaynan note he had juvenile arrests for assault in the fourth degree/domestic violence in 2003 and two counts of indecent exposure in 2004, but all related charges were later dismissed.