A former Coupeville resident who was convicted of committing child rape will likely be resentenced in Island County Superior Court because of new case law regarding juvenile offenders.
Stephenson Parrick pleaded guilty in 2014 to one count of rape of a child in the first degree. He forced a 10-year-old child to perform a sex act, according to court records.
Parrick was 17 years old at the time of the offense, but his case was moved to adult court when he turned 18. After pleading guilty, he was sentenced to ten years and two months in prison, which was in the middle of the standard sentencing range.
But then the law changed. The state Supreme Court ruled in State v. Houston-Sconiers that the sentencing judge must have complete discretion to consider mitigating circumstances associated with youth as well as discretion to impose a sentence below the standard range.
The decision references the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Miller v. Alabama, which states “children are constitutionally different” and must be treated as such in court.
As a result, Parrick’s attorney is asking that the sentence be vacated and that Parrick be resentenced before a judge. This time around, the judge must consider Parrick’s youth at the time of the offense and has the option of sentencing him below the standard sentencing range.
Court records show that Parrick had a difficult childhood. He was born in dire poverty in Haiti and was adopted by a Whidbey couple when he was 11 years old. He told interviewers that he was sexually abused in Haiti as a small child. He also claimed he was physically abused at his home on Whidbey Island and had attempted suicide, court records indicate.