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‘Wonderful life’ thrown away, says the judge

Glenn Jolley was living the American dream on Whidbey Island, Judge Alan Hancock said, but he threw it away.

Hancock spoke at length about his decision to send the 58-year-old former Oak Harbor and Freeland counselor to prison during a sentencing hearing Thursday afternoon. He pointed out that Jolley once had a successful practice, a happy family, a first-rate education, many friends and a respected name.

“Mr. Jolley had a wonderful life and he threw it all away,” Hancock said. “That’s exactly what he did.”

In the end, Hancock handed Jolley a mid-range sentence of a year and six months in prison. He also ordered Jolley to serve three years of community custody. During that time Jolley will not be allowed to hold any position of trust or authority, he cannot drink alcohol, he must undergo a sexual deviancy evaluation and a sexual history polygraph, and he’ll have to register as a sex offender.

Jolley, a Clinton resident, was convicted of indecent liberties during a trial in November. The jury also found him not guilty of a charge of attempted indecent liberties and had a mistrial on a rape charge because they couldn’t come to a unanimous decision.

Jolley, appearing thin and pale after two months in jail, spoke tearfully in his own defense. He apologized for all the pain he had caused, though he didn’t admit his guilt.

“I feel a sadness and remorse I will go to the grave with,” he said, “and no amount of time will soften my self-reproach. I am my own worst critic.”

Hancock admonished Jolley for committing such a serious offense against a vulnerable patient. Jolley fondled the client’s breast during a counseling session at his Oak Harbor office last winter.

In sentencing him, Hancock said he took into account the fact that Jolley had admitted committing a similar act against an 18-year-old patient in 1993.

On the other hand, Hancock said a “remarkable number of eminent members of the community” wrote letters in support of Jolley.

Church officials, a school principal, a doctor, a nurse and other members of the Whidbey Island community wrote nearly a dozen letters asking for a light sentence for Jolley.

The letters described 58-year-old Jolley as a dedicated family man, a loving husband and father, a man of deep faith and a good friend.

Langley Middle School Principal Greg Willis, for example, wrote a letter on school letterhead saying that he has been friends with Jolley for 19 years and “a lengthy incarceration will not benefit this man, his family or our community.”

Pastor David Lura of Oak Harbor’s First United Methodist Church wrote that he has referred both couples and a single woman to Jolley for counseling and none of them reported any problems with his style of counseling.

At the hearing, Deputy Prosecutor Mike Henegen explained that the victim did not come to court to speak because it was too difficult for her.

In the pre-sentence report, Community Corrections Officer Robert Diekman recommended a top-of-the-range sentence of a year and eight months in prison for Jolley. He pointed out a number of incidences in which Jolley was reported to have acted inappropriately with clients in a sexual manner. He described the charge Jolley was convicted of as “not an isolated incident.”

Yet Hancock ruled he could only take the 1993 incident into account in imposing the sentence since Jolley admitted to the single incident, but not the others. Under law, there would have to be an evidentiary hearing with witnesses to introduce the other allegations against Jolley.

Jolley refused to be interviewed for the pre-sentence report.

Hancock congratulated Oak Harbor Detective Teri Gardner on her successful investigation of Jolley. She taped a phone conversation between the victim and Jolley, which was played at the trial. Hancock said the tape was “very telling” and may be the reason Jolley was convicted.

“Thanks to the good police work of Detective Gardner,” Hancock said, “Mr. Jolley is being held accountable for what he did.”

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