Young molester to be sentenced

A 19-year-old Oak Harbor man accused of sexually assaulting a neighbor boy years ago will likely be sentenced under a special program that emphasizes treatment over incarceration.

The man pleaded guilty in Island County Superior Court June 22 to child molestation in the second degree.

He is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 3; in the meantime, the Department of Corrections will conduct a pre-sentence investigation, which is required in sexual assault cases.

According to court documents, the prosecutor will recommend that the man be sentenced under the Special Sex Offender Sentencing Alternative, if the Department of Corrections finds that he qualifies. Is so, the prosecutor will recommend six months in jail and treatment.

The man molested a neighbor boy five years ago. The defendant was 14 years old at the time, while the victim was 8 years old.

Oak Harbor Police Detective Mike Bailey investigated the case last year after a 12-year-old boy told a school counselor that he was afraid he might have AIDS. The boy said the suspect — a teenaged neighbor and friend of the family — forced him to perform a sex act, Bailey wrote.

Under state law, the man had to be charged as an adult in the case because the juvenile victim didn’t disclose what had happened until the defendant was an adult, according to the prosecutor’s office. The News-Times is not disclosing the defendant’s name because he was a minor at the time of the offense.

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