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The Stranger writer Eli Sanders wins Pulitzer Prize for account of lesbian couple's rape, stabbing

Associated Press

Its best-known staffer is a sex columnist with a new show on MTV. It's famous for irreverent, often caustic coverage of Seattle's entertainment and political scene. Now the alternative weekly The Stranger has another distinction - a Pulitzer Prize.

Eli Sanders of The Stranger received one of journalism's highest honors Monday, winning the feature writing award for his harrowing account of a woman who survived a brutal rape. Her partner was killed, and the surviving woman testified about her ordeal in court.

"I was stunned at first," Sanders said.

The Stranger jokingly bills itself as "Seattle's only newspaper," and staffers, led by sex columnist Dan Savage, go out of their way to poke fun at just about everything. But Sanders said it was "cool that a scrappy little alt-weekly in Seattle can produce something that resonates on this level."

Sanders won for coverage of the murder trial of a man accused of raping and stabbing a lesbian couple in their Seattle home in 2009, killing one of them.

"It's a great, great privilege to work at a paper that will allow someone to hang on to a crime story for so long," Sanders said. "(It) was a credit to how much time The Stranger was willing to give."

Click here to read Sanders' Pulitzer-winning article, "The Bravest Woman in Seattle."

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