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Top Ten Stories of 2013: No. 5; Level III sex offender moves to Friday Harbor
In the wake of an outpouring of opposition, neighborhood protests and a series of tense town hall meetings, San Juan Island got what proved to be a two-year reprieve from being the home of San Juan County’s only Level III sex offender.
That was back in early 2011.
But by February 2013, the state Department of Corrections no longer had authority to tell David Franklin Stewart where he could or could not live. Freed from court-ordered residential oversight, the 60-year-old former Snohomish County resident and convicted child rapist opted to move into the home that he and his wife purchased six years earlier in San Juan Island’s Bridal Trails neighborhood.
As a registered sex offender, Stewart was required to notify the Sheriff’s Department within three days of moving to his San Juan Island home, which he did. He served 7 1/2 years in prison and two years probation for first-degree child rape. Neighbors reported seeing Stewart at his San Juan Island home Feb. 17.
Currently, San Juan County is home to 20 registered sex offenders, 18 of whom, at Level I, are considered low-risk to reoffend. Stewart, who because of his classification is considered at high-risk to reoffend, remains the only Level III sex offender in San Juan County.
— Scott Rasmussen