Whidbey Island man sent to prison for assaulting woman

A man who committed two felony-level assaults of women in an eight-month period was sent to prison Monday.

Dederick R. Norwood Jr., a 24-year-old Clinton resident, pleaded guilty in Island County Superior Court to assault in the second degree, malicious mischief and assault in the fourth degree with sexual motivation.

All the charges were domestic-violence related.

Under a plea bargain, the prosecution and defense gave a joint recommended sentence of three years and nine months in prison, which is an exceptional sentence beyond the standard range.

Also as part of the plea bargain, the prosecution dropped a rape charge.

Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Eric Ohme explained that the victim was somewhat reluctant to testify and had a “a different opinion on some of the things that occurred.”

Defense attorney Steve McKay said the victim’s story changed in regard to whether there was a sexual assault.

McKay said Norwood had served in the Army in Afghanistan and had some history of mental health problems.

Norwood’s alcohol use was also “extreme,” the attorney said.

Judge Alan Hancock imposed the recommended sentence, saying that it was an “extremely serious incident.”

The judge told Norwood that it was very important for him to respect other people.

Norwood was also ordered to obtain a psychosexual evaluation and a mental health evaluation after getting out of prison and comply with treatment recommendations.

On Nov. 7, a woman at a Clinton home reported that Norwood hit her and choked her after she refused to have sex with him. She ended up getting away after her dragged her and threw her, running to a neighbor’s house for help, according to court documents.

Norwood spray-painted offensive remarks about his victim on her walls after she left.

Norwood served a jail sentence last year after he punched an Oak Harbor woman in the face after she refused a sex act.

The victim suffered a fractured skull.

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