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Jury finds Oak Harbor man guilty of child rape

A jury deliberated just an hour and 20 minutes last week before finding an Oak Harbor man guilty of raping a 6-year-old girl last December.

The jurors returned their verdict Thursday afternoon at Island County Superior Court following the two-and-a-half-day trial. They found 28-year-old Jason Bridges guilty of child rape in the first degree.

Bridges faces an indeterminate sentence of up to life in prison. Under the standard sentencing range, he will face a minimum sentence of seven years and nine months to 10 years and three months in prison. After serving the minimum sentence, a review board will decide if he should be released.

Bridges’ sentencing hearing is scheduled for Jan. 4. Since it’s a sex offense, the Department of Corrections will complete a pre-sentence investigation prior to the hearing.

Chief Criminal Prosecutor Colleen Kenimond said she was very pleased with the verdict.

“I was truly gratified that we can produce in Island County a jury as hard working as this one,” she said.

Kenimond said the victim, who is now 7 years old, had to testify in front of Bridges twice, once at a pre-trial hearing and again at the trial. It was obviously very difficult for her, but she succeeded in telling her story.

“She’s a champ. She’s an absolute champ,” Kenimond said. “She told the truth and she knew what was expected of her.”

Bridges also took the stand in his own defense and denied that he raped the child.

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