Staff photo/Hayley Day
                                Kelsey O’Day at her sentencing on Aug. 14.

Staff photo/Hayley Day Kelsey O’Day at her sentencing on Aug. 14.

Kelsey O’Day sentenced to 13 months for child rape

A San Juan Island woman who pleaded guilty to child rape was sentenced on Tuesday, Aug. 14, in San Juan County Superior Court.

Kelsey Lee O’Day, 27, of Friday Harbor, was given 13 months in prison for one count of child rape in the third degree. Her sentencing range was 12-14 months, as she has no prior criminal history.

“I’m very sorry,” said O’Day in court. “I will learn from this, and it won’t happen again.”

The state dismissed two other counts of child rape in the third degree, which O’Day was originally charged with in November 2017. A five-year no-contact order was also issued against O’Day, for the victim.

Judge Deborra E. Garrett of Whatcom County Superior Court presided over the sentencing of what she called a “serious crime.” She added that O’Day showed a “great lapse of judgment,” but stated the defendant is regretful of her actions.

O’Day changed her original plea to guilty at a July 6 hearing. She is represented by Craig Platt, a Seattle-based criminal attorney.

In Washington, child rape in the third degree is defined as when the perpetrator has sexual intercourse with another who is at least 14 years old but less than 16 years old and not married to the perpetrator and the perpetrator is at least 48 months older than the victim.

The sexual encounters occurred on Oct. 23, 29 and 30, 2017, when the minor’s father was out of town. O’Day is known to the father and son.

Both the victim’s and the defendant’s parents gave emotional statements at the sentencing, including exchanges from the gallery where the public sits and not the podium where official declarations are made to the judge.

An advocate read a statement from the victim’s mother, who wrote that the incident had “a huge impact on my son’s life,” including depression and talk of self-harm.

The defendant’s parents, Pat and Stephanie O’Day, stated that their daughter was using alcohol and cocaine at the time of the crime, which impaired her judgment. She is now sober, they added, so there will not be repeat infractions.

Stephanie O’Day described her daughter as a “sweet, kind, carrying and loving person” who has experienced verbal and sexual abuse in the past and is devoted to her 4-year-old son.

“She loves him more than life,” said Stephanie O’Day.

Shortly after being charged in 2017, O’Day went to Mexico, even though there was a warrant issued for her arrest. No additional charges were filed against her for leaving the country.