Sheriff calls meeting on sex offender

"Island County Sheriff Mike Hawley is holding a community meeting Wednesday to discuss a high-risk child molester moving to the Sleeper Road area.The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Aug. 8 at the Taylor Road Fire Station at 3440 Taylor Road. Jason Topaum, a 15-year-old convicted sex offender, will be living in a state-supervised group home for juveniles at the 3600 block of Brewer Lane. He was voluntarily placed in the home, which is run by a care-giver trained in dealing with sexually aggressive youths. He is no longer under probation, but he isn't supposed to have contact with his victims or be around drug or alcohol use.Topaum pleaded guilty to indecent liberties in Skagit County Superior Court on June 22, 1999. He admitted to sexually molesting five young girls, all under age 12. He was sentenced to three years in Echo Glen, a state juvenile corrections facility. He received sex offender treatment during incarceration. He was released to a group home in Snohomish County last year.State officials originally rated Topaum as a Level 2 - or moderate risk - sex offender, but the Island County Sheriff's sex offender review board increased the seriousness of the rating to Level 3 based upon his self-disclosures to authorities. According to the Sheriff's Department, Topaum admitted after being convicted of indecent liberties that he had raped three other adult female family members while they were sleeping or under the influence of alcohol.Recently, Topaum admitted to county investigators that he had sexually assaulted still other victims before 1999, the Sheriff's Department flier states.Topaum is required by state law to register as a sex offender with the Sheriff's Office in the county of his residence for 15 years after release from confinement.You can reach features editor Jessie Stensland at or call 675-6611. "

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