Child molester turns himself in
By JESSIE STENSLAND
Whidbey News Times Assistant editor
October 23, 2009 · 2:50 PM
Police say a 31-year-old former Oak Harbor resident turned himself in after admitting to molesting a pre-teen girl, court documents indicate.
Prosecutors charged Joshua Lawrence, currently a Marysville resident, in Island County Superior Court Oct. 16 with three counts of child molestation in the first degree.
Oak Harbor Police Detective Mike Bailey started investigating the case Oct. 12 after the alleged victim, who is now 13-years-old, told a friend that Lawrence had molested her.
The alleged victim wrote a text message to Lawrence, telling him that the things he had done to her are troubling her. She wrote that she was worried he would do the same thing to her sisters. He wrote back that “he would never do that to them” and said he was sorry, Bailey wrote.
In an interview with a detective, the girl said Lawrence first molested her when she was 9 years old. In addition, she claimed he molested her twice when she was 10 and twice when she was 11 years old, the report states.
Bailey called Lawrence for an interview. Lawrence admitted that he had molested the girl “at least a couple of times,” Bailey wrote.
Lawrence told the detective that he didn’t know what triggered him to molest the child, but that he was trying to get help, the report states.
After the phone interview, Lawrence drove to the Oak Harbor Police Department and turned himself in. He told Bailey that “he takes full responsibility in this case and that he deserves whatever is coming to him,” court documents state.
If convicted of the charges, Lawrence will face an indeterminate sentence of up to life in prison. Under the standard sentencing range, he would face a minimum sentence of eight years and two months to 10 years and 10 months in prison. After serving the minimum sentence, a review board would decide if he should be released.Contact Whidbey News Times Assistant editor Jessie Stensland at email@example.com or 360.675.6611 ext. 5056.