Convicted of rape, 22-year-old former Orcas Island resident to serve 15 months in prison

A 22-year-old Kirkland man who four months ago confessed to sexually assaulting two teenage girls on Orcas Island a year ago in late September was ordered to serve 15 months in prison on two counts of third-degree rape.

On Feb. 28, Peter John Anderson, a former resident of Orcas Island, was sentenced in San Juan County Superior Court to a total of 15 months in prison and ordered to pay $650 in fines and fees. He was taken into custody at the conclusion of the sentencing hearing.

Among the court-ordered conditions Anderson must abide by upon release from prison, he will be required to register as a sex offender and serve three years of probation, under supervision of the state Department of Corrections.

Anderson pleaded guilty in November to the two counts of third-degree rape, a Class C felony. In addition to third-degree rape, he was initially charged with two counts of third-degree rape of a child, as an alternative course of prosecution. Third-degree child rape, a Class A felony, carries maximum penalties of life in prison, a $50,000 fine, or both.

A Class C felony, third-degree rape carries maximum penalties of five years in prison, a $10,000 fine, or both; however, the standard range of sentencing for a first-time offender is 15-20 months in prison.

According to prosecutors, Anderson forced himself upon two 15-year-old girls in the haze of a late-night, alcohol-fueled party in Eastsound in late September of 2012. Both girls, in addition to being under the age of consent, reportedly had indulged in alcohol and marijuana while at the party and were incapacitated at the time Anderson raped the two, at separate times, hours apart, on the same night.

At that time, Anderson, then 20, was four years older than both victims.

While the felony conviction stands as a first for the Kirkland man, it is not the first time the former Orcas resident has been prosecuted for an alleged sex crime in the San Juans. In 2010, Anderson, at age 18, was accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl and prosecuted on a charge of second-degree rape. That case was dismissed after six months when the girl opted against testifying at trial.

In both the 2010 case and the most recent, Anderson was represented by former San Juan County public defender Charles Arndt, a partner in the Coupeville-based law firm of Arndt and Walker.

— Scott Rasmussen


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