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A Kalama man was arrested Tuesday after two workers said he sexually assaulted and threatened to kill one of them, and then tried to trap both in the crawl space of a house.

Shane Lewellen, 23, of Kalama was arrested on suspicion of unlawful imprisonment and fourth-degree assault with sexual motivation. An additional charge of harassment was later added.

When asked why he assaulted the woman, Lewellen said it was because her buttocks “looked very nice,” according to police. He also reportedly said he tried to close the door on the workers because he knew he was in trouble.

The workers, a man and a woman, had come to work on the foundation of a house in the 200 block of Elm Street, the police report said. Kalama Police Chief Ralph Herrera said the house was in transition between Lewellen and a new owner.

According to police, Lewellen escorted the workers to a basement so they could access the crawl space of the house. The access door, which was several feet off the ground and barely large enough for an adult to fit through, was the only way in or out of that section of crawl space.

The male worker entered first, followed by the female worker, according to the police report. Lewellen reportedly then slapped the right side of the female worker’s buttocks hard enough to cause immediate pain and stinging, and then grabbed both buttocks and shook them.

Police said the woman yelled at Lewellen to stop, who paused briefly but then pushed her further into the crawl space and tried to close the door behind the two workers. The woman then stuck her arm in the opening of the door where it was pinched under Lewellen’s body weight. Both the man and woman said they heard Lewellen threaten to kill her, the report said.

Eventually the two workers managed to push the door open and escape, the report said, after which Lewellen appeared to be reaching for a knife. The male worker grabbed Lewellen and took him outside while the female worker called 911. Police later found a four-inch blade in his right pocket.

Lewellen’s bail was set at $25,000 on Wednesday. The two workers could not be reached for comment.



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