Suspect denies sexual assault

A 26-year-old Oak Harbor man could face more than five years in prison for allegedly sexually assaulting a friend, according to court documents.

Prosecutors charged Daniel Rush in Island County Superior Court Jan. 30 with indecent liberties by forcible compulsion. He pleaded not guilty Feb. 11.

The standard sentencing range for the charge is four years and three months to five years and eight months in prison.

According to the report by Sgt. Mike Beech with the Island County Sheriff’s Office, he first responded to a complaint of a verbal domestic dispute at a Lisa Street residence Jan. 26. Rush, who was going through alcohol withdrawal, returned from Idaho and was staying at his estranged wife’s home. Since he had no place else to go, his wife was going to stay at a friend’s home until he could go into treatment.

Beech was called back to the home a few hours later because of a report of an attempted rape. The woman, who was friends with the couple, claimed that Rush tried to rape her after she brought him some cigarettes, the report states.

“There was a very clear lack of consent, and he took a substantial step toward trying to force intercourse,” Beech wrote.

Rush told the officer that he and the woman were “making out,” but that he stopped when she told him to. He denied any wrongdoing.

You can reach News-Times reporter Jessie Stensland at jstensland@whidbeynewstimes.com or call 675-6611.

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