Oak Harbor child molester heads to prison

An Island County Superior Court judge handed a 49-year-old Oak Harbor child molester the maximum sentence at a hearing last Thursday.

Earlier this year, a jury convicted Kenneth Martin of two counts of first-degree child molestation following a short trial.

The 13-year-old victim, who was 11 years old when the crimes occurred, testified that Martin had twice molested her when she was sleeping.

Chief Criminal Prosecutor Colleen Kenimond and an officials from the Department of Corrections recommended that the judge sentence Martin at the top of the standard sentencing range.

Judge Vickie Churchill agreed and handed Martin a sentence of life in prison with the possibility of release after a minimum of seven years and five months. After Martin serves the minimum sentence, a board will decide whether he should be released.

Kenimond said she recommended the high-end sentence because of the “predatory nature” of the crime.

“The little girl was alone and asleep,” she said.

According to Kenimond, the victim told her grandmother, Martin’s wife, about the crimes after they occurred, but the woman didn’t do anything. Yet Kenimond said it helps the child to know that a jury listened to her and believed her.

“She’s doing well, from what I hear,” Kenimond said, adding that the girl has strong support from the other members of her family.

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