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'I want people to know I put up a fight,' victim of coffee stand sexual assault speaks out

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KENT, Wash. -- Madeline Guinto may be shaken and sore, but it’s her strength that shows as she shares her story.

Guinto works as a bikini barista at Hottie Shots Espresso in Kent . She was attacked Tuesday morning after opening up the coffee stand.

Kent police sent out surveillance video of the attack, which appears to show a man with a knife crawl through the coffee shop window as Guinto makes him a drink.

She says he put the knife to her throat and demanded she turn off the lights. After she refused, he forced her to climb out the window, then led her down a dark alley where she says he tried to rape her.

But she resisted in every way she could, trying to stop or at least stall the attacker for as long as possible.

“I’m doing everything I can to stall him,” she said. “I’m dragging my feet. I’m giving him dead body weight so it’s not easy for him to just walk me over into my death. And I was just like, 'oh my god why isn’t anyone pulling up.'”

She says she reached for his knife as he choked her, but he pulled it away.

Then, she says, something changed. He seemed startled, possibly from a customer pulling up to the stand. He stepped away, prompting Guinto to run back to the stand where the customer helped her call 9-1-1.

Kent Police arrested a 33-year-old man with a long criminal history Wednesday morning.

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“That’s relieving just to know he won’t ever get anyone again,” Guinto said. “I’m kind of just glad it’s over.”

Guinto is taking some time to relax at home. She also plans to take a self-defense class. She didn’t sleep well Tuesday night, but she’s pushing forward.

She’s not sure if she’ll go back to work at the stand. She was robbed there in October.

“I’m trying so hard not to live in fear,” she said. “I don’t want this to destroy me.”

Now she wants other women to hear her story, just in case.

“It’s sad that women don’t realize how strong they really are,” she said. “And, I don’t know, maybe me sitting here will influence more people to be strong and to speak up and speak out.”

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