An Oak Harbor man is accused of raping his stepdaughter over a period of years and locking her into a crawlspace to intimidate her from reporting the crime.
The teenager came forward after running away and contemplating suicide, a police report states.
Prosecutors charged Charles E. Ringer Jr., 70, in Island County Superior Court Jan. 11 with rape of a child in the second degree, rape of a child in the third degree and kidnapping with sexual motivation. The crimes were charged as being domestic-violence related.
If convicted of the charges, Ringer could face a minimum of 12 to 16 years in prison under the standard sentencing range.
The girl reported to police that Ringer started sexually assaulting her in another country when she was in fourth grade, the report states.
The abuse continued after the family moved to Oak Harbor; Ringer continually raped the child when her mother was away on her job, the report states.
Ringer told her that she would go to jail and never have a life in the U.S. if she told anyone; he also dragged her downstairs and forced her into a crawlspace “in order to inflict extreme mental distress on her to not speak of the abuse being done to her,” the detective wrote.
The girl described a childhood in which Ringer regularly sexually abused her, punished her and kept her isolated.
Ringer was ordered to be in court Jan. 28.