High risk sex offenders due here

Island County Sheriff Mike Hawley is planning a meeting next Thursday night to notify North and Central Whidbey residents of two high risk sex offenders who may move to the island this month.

John Hartman, 37, has no place to live when he gets out of prison July 14. The Sheriff’s Office reports that the Department of Corrections (DOC) requires him to live in the county of his last conviction, so he’ll be living homeless in the Oak Harbor area.

Jared Vandewerfhorst, 24, also plans to live on North or Central Whidbey after he’s released from prison July 28. The DOC has not yet determined where he will live, but he previously lived on Monroe Landing Road.

The Sheriff’s Office classified both men as Level 3 sex offenders because they are considered to be at a high risk to reoffend.

Hartman has a lengthy history of sexual and other offenses. In 1999, Hartman pleaded guilty in Island County Superior Court to incident liberties for molesting his cousin’s 6-year-old daughter.

In 1997, he pleaded guilty in Jefferson County to assault in the fourth degree after being accused of having sexual contact with a 15-year-old girl. In 1991, Hartman pleaded guilty to indecent liberties with forcible compulsion in Snohomish County. He attacked a woman after asking her for a massage. He held her down, bit and sexually assaulted her, the Sheriff’s Office reported.

In addition, Hartman has been convicted of seven other felonies and misdemeanors.

Vandewerfhorst pleaded guilty in Lewis County in 1990 of second-degree kidnapping with sexual motivation and assault of a child in the second degree with sexual motivation.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, Vandewerfhorst tricked his employer’s 11-year-old son into driving with him to a secluded logging road. Vandewerfhorst pulled the boy out of the truck and physically assaulted him.

Vandewerfhorst got out of prison in 2002 and moved to Whidbey Island; the Sheriff’s Office deemed him a Level 2 or moderate-risk offender. He violated the conditions of his parole by being around juveniles and went back to prison.

The Sheriff’s public notification meeting will start at 7 p.m., Thursday, July 14, at the Oak Harbor Public Works meeting room on NE Sixteenth Avenue.

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