Editor’s note: The accused is not named in this article to protect the identity of the victim.
A 27-year-old San Juan Island woman is charged with three counts of rape of a child in the third degree. The minor involved with the case is a teenage boy under age 16.
The accused traveled to Mexico after she was charged with rape on Nov. 16. She posted her $100,000 bail on Nov. 22 and appeared in court for a hearing on Dec. 1. Her arraignment is scheduled for Dec. 14, where she will enter a plea.
No additional charges were filed against her for leaving the country.
The alleged crime
In Washington, child rape is defined as sexual intercourse with someone at least 48 months older than a person who is 14 years old but less than 16. The accused cannot be married or in a domestic partnership with the accusee.
The parents of the minor reported the alleged crimes to law enforcement on Nov. 3. The alleged sexual encounters occurred on Oct. 23, 29 and 30, when the minor’s father was out of town.
According to court documents, on Nov. 2, the accused told a friend that she was “‘really stressed out’” because “‘she had done something really stupid and had slept with a minor.’” The friend confirmed who the minor was and notified the father. The accused is known to the victim and father.
Court documents also state that on Nov. 8, a detective heard a conversation between the accused and the minor’s father, where she admitted to the allegations of sexual intercourse with the minor and acknowledged the minor’s age.
Leaving the country
San Juan County Prosecuting Attorney Randy Gaylord explained that when the accused left the country, the court issued a “no-bail warrant,” meaning, after she was arrested, she could not leave jail until after her hearing.
According to court documents, the accused’s lawyer argued for that revocation of her no-bail warrant because it would make it hard for her to return to the island.
However, San Juan County Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Teresa Barnett said it should not be revoked because the accused showed “an unwillingness to appear” in court since she had previously left the country. Barnett added that the accused would “likely interfere with witnesses” if she returned to the area without a warrant, as she would be free and able to talk to anyone.
Judge Donald Eaton ruled in favor of the defense, and the no-bail warrant was revoked and returned to the original bail amount that she later paid.
A sexual assault protection order was also filed on Nov. 16. It ordered the accused to not have contact with the minor or come within 500 feet of the minor’s residence and school. The accused has no known prior felony convictions, according to court documents.
Check the Journal for updates.