Elyse Umemoto, Miss Washington, 2007, visited Olympia last week to speak about her experience as a victim of domestic violence:
Umemoto said her ex-boyfriend physically abused her and stalked her while she was the reigning 2007 Miss Washington, as well as after she finished as second runner-up in the 2008 Miss America pageant. She dated the man for about 18 months after they met while both were classmates at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma.
The ex-boyfriend’s abusive behavior escalated over time, Umemoto said, and he broke into her apartment and installed software on her computer so he could monitor her online communications.
Umemoto, originally from Wapato in Eastern Washington, said she remembers authorities taking photos of her bruises and scratches when she went to the hospital after he became physically violent with her in February 2008. That was just after she had returned to Washington from the Miss America Pageant.
“I didn’t stand a chance trying to fight back,” she said. The ex-boyfriend, a football player at PLU, later was convicted of a charge stemming from the domestic violence incident, she said.
And you heard it here first: Elyse will be in Seattle on Oct. 20 to announce her support for the Attorney General's domestic violence bill. Stay tuned for more information...