Sex offender with frightening past accused of flashing woman in West Seattle

SEATTLE -- A 37-year-old man with a frightening criminal history is now accused of flashing a woman in West Seattle late last month, just one of the many recent exposure incidents in that area of Seattle.

Duane Atwood, a Level 2 sex offender, is charged in King County Court with one count of indecent exposure as well as failing to register as a sex offender.

Atwood has a previous conviction for arson and burglary with sexual motivation, serving two years in prison in 2000 for painting the word "Rape" on a woman's glass door, setting her apartment on fire and leaving nude photos of other women attached to her door.

Atwood's ex-wife also has a no-contact order against him, stating that she was "terrified" of him, police said.

Now, police believe he flashed a woman while sitting in a car in West Seattle.

According to Seattle police, a woman was walking on July 22 near the intersection of Beach Drive SW near SW Orleans Street when a man in a Nissan Pathfinder drove up and asked her for directions.

As she neared the car, she noticed the male driver was inappropriately touching himself. The woman walked away, noted the car's license plate and called police.

Police contacted the owner of the car, who said it was driven by his son Atwood, previously deemed a "seriously mentally ill offender" who did not participate in sex offender treatment following his release from jail.

When police contacted Atwood, he allegedly said he was driving the car during the day the woman was flashed, but he was not in the area. He denied flashing anyone, and allegedly told police he was not registered as a sex offender because it negatively affected his life, causing him to lose multiple jobs

He was arrested by police for investigation of indecent exposure and being held at King County Jail in lieu of $250,000 bail.

A car similar to Atwoods may have also been used in the string of flasher episodes in West Seattle earlier this year. Though none of the descriptions were exactly matched, most mentioned the driver sitting in a silver SUV. Police are investigating any possible connection.