For the second time in three years a 21-year-old Bothell man, accused most recently of sexually assaulting two alcohol-impaired teenage girls at a late-night party in October on Orcas Island, is slated to stand trail on charges of felony rape in San Juan County.
On June 7, Peter John Anderson pleaded not guilty in San Juan County Superior Court to two counts of third-degree rape of a child, a Class C felony, and to two counts of second-degree rape of a child, a Class A felony that carries maximum penalties of life in prison, a $50,000 fine, or both. His trial begins Aug. 26 and will be heard by a jury.
Prosectors also filed a pair of third-degree rape charges as an alternative to either Class A felony offense. The lesser felony offense carries maximum penalties of five years in prison, a $10,000 fine, or both. Anderson was released under court orders pending trial.
According to court documents, the two 15-year-old girls, as well as being under the age of consent, were incapacitated by a combination of alcohol and marijuana at the time prosecutors claim that Anderson forced himself upon both, at separate times that same night, and sexually assaulted each in the haze of a late-night alcohol-fueled party in Eastsound in mid-October. He was 20 and more than four years older than either of the alleged victims at the time.
In June, 2010, Anderson, then 18, was accused of second-degree rape for an alleged sexual assault of a 14-year-old girl. He pleaded innocent to the felony offense and six months later the case was dismissed after prosecutors, according to court documents, informed the court that the alleged victim, fearful of confrontational court proceedings, could no longer participate and that they could not proceed without her testimony.
As with the 2010 case, Anderson is represented by attorney Charles Arndt of the Coupeville-based law firm of Arndt and Walker. Arndt is a former San Juan County public defender.
— Scott Rasmussen