Man who wielded machete guilty of rape

A man who chased a woman with a machete and raped her at an Oak Harbor home recently pleaded guilty to felony charges.

Johnson C. Knox, 26, pleaded guilty in Island County Superior Court to rape in the second degree and possession with intent to deliver MDMA, a methamphetamine also called “ectasy.”

The rape was charged as a domestic-violence-related crime.

Under the terms of the plea bargain, the prosecution will recommend an indeterminate sentence of 12 years and three months to life in prison, and that he be ordered to obtain a psychosexual evaluation and comply with treatment after being released.

The defense will argue for a shorter sentence, court documents indicate.

On Jan. 2, police responded to a 911 report of a possible domestic assault at a home in housing for active-duty personnel of Naval Air Station Whidbey Island. Knox is a former U.S. Coast Guard officer, according to the base.

An Oak Harbor police officer who entered the house encountered the victim as she was running down the stairs, screaming that “he” had a machete and was trying to kill her.

The officer drew his weapon, placed the victim behind him and ordered the man, later identified as Knox, to come down with his hands up.

Knox complied and was taken into custody by police.

The woman told investigators that Knox had become paranoid that night. She said he grabbed his machete from the closet and threatened to hit her with it.

The woman said Knox chased her until she ran into the bathroom and locked the door, according to the police report.

The woman opened the door after Knox threatened to kill himself. He grabbed her and raped her.

Knox’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for Sept. 14.

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