Everett bar owner arrested on new sexual assault charges

EVERETT, Wash. (AP) — The owner of an Everett bar has been arrested a second time on allegations that he drugged and raped patrons, and investigators say they believe he committed additional assaults in Washington and Oregon dating back two decades.

Everett police first arrested Christian Sayre, 35, the owner of the historic Anchor Pub, in October, for investigation of two counts of second-degree rape and one count of indecent liberties. He posted $120,000 bond hours later and remained out of custody for three months.

But on Friday, authorities arrested Sayre again and he was charged with 10 felony counts of sexual assault, The Daily Herald reported. Charging papers said more victims had come forward to accuse him of assaults dating back to 2014, and Everett police said they had information concerning nine additional counts that were beyond the statute of limitations or required further investigation.

Snohomish County Prosecutor Adam Cornell said in a statement Friday that it's “essential to recognize the multitude of brave victims who had the courage to bring their allegations to light.” He also acknowledged efforts by the Everett Police Department investigations team, prosecutors in his office and staff.

In a news release, the Washington County, Oregon, sheriff’s office said detectives had identified multiple victims in Oregon, dating back to 2002, and that based on the evidence at hand, authorities believe there are additional victims. Sayre grew up in Washington County and attended Century High School and Portland Community College’s Rock Creek campus, the news release said.

Bail was set at $1 million. It was not immediately possible to reach Sayre for comment, and court records did not reflect whether he had obtained an attorney who might comment on his behalf.

Sayre used his position as the owner of the pub to commit the crimes, authorities said. Patrons, male and female, began making reports as early as 2017 that they suspected Sayre had secretly put drugs in their drinks.

People told investigators they woke after a night at Sayre’s bar with large gaps in their memories, despite only having had a few drinks.

One woman told The Daily Herald that Sayre raped her in 2018. They were friends. She had walked him home because he was drunk. But when she went to leave his house, he slammed the door shut. She was trapped, she said. She begged him to stop. He did not listen, she said.

She subsequently moved across the country, in large part because of the trauma of the sexual assault, she said. She said she wouldn’t feel at ease unless he’s convicted.

“I’m not very hopeful about it, just because Christian seems to get out of things very easily,” she said. “I’m not trying to be negative, I’m just being realistic.”

The Associated Press generally does not name people who say they have been sexually assaulted.

A 26-page affidavit, filed in court Friday, recounted the women’s stories.

A professional acquaintance, in her 30s, contacted police after Sayre’s initial arrest. She reportedly told police Sayre was flirtatious and charming when they met in 2017. Later that year, Sayre offered to help her prepare for a job interview. The pair met at a bar where the woman reportedly drank two beers.

They went to a different bar, and she ordered a vodka soda. She left her drink unattended when she went to the bathroom. When she came back, she finished her drink. The woman told police she did not remember leaving the second bar.

She had never before blacked out from alcohol, she said, but she later remembered “waking up in a dark room with someone beside her,” according to the charging papers.

“Multiple individuals” reported employees at The Anchor “were aware of the abuse and did not intervene while others suspected employees were covering for the defendant’s behavior,” wrote deputy prosecutor Taryn Jones.

The Anchor sits in a wedge-shaped building where bartenders have been serving drinks since 1907, with the exception of during Prohibition, according to a history on the bar’s website.

Sayre tried to make a “quick sale” of the business during the investigation, according to the charges.