Friday Harbor woman pleads not guilty to child rape in the third degree

A San Juan Island woman pleaded not guilty to child rape with a teenage boy, who she knew but was of no relation.

Kelsey Lee O’Day, 27, of Friday Harbor, was charged with three counts of child rape in the third degree on Nov. 16.

In Washington, child rape in the third degree is defined as when the person 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.

Child rape in the third degree is a class C felony, which carries a maximum sentence of five years.

The defendant appeared in San Juan County Superior Court on Thursday, Dec. 14 for her arraignment in the criminal case and a hearing on the continuation of a civil anti-harassment order against her to safeguard the minor, who is under 16.

A trial was set for 9 a.m. on March 14 in San Juan Superior Court and San Juan County Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Teresa Barnett estimated it would last five days. A pretrial hearing has been set for Feb. 2. at 9 a.m.

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.

This was the second time O’Day appeared in court since she was charged. Shortly after being charged on Nov. 16, she went to Mexico, even though, said Barnett, she knew a warrant was out for her arrest.

“She chose to go on vacation,” said Barnett. “[She] showed the court that was more important to her.”

Despite leaving the country, San Juan County Superior Court Judge Donald Eaton ruled to lower her previously posted $100,000 bail in half. She will be reimbursed the other $50,000 from the court, said Judge Eaton.

While the defendant was in Mexico, Judge Eaton issued a no-bail warrant, meaning that after she was arrested, she could not leave jail until after her hearing. At the Dec. 14 hearing, Judge Eaton said these types of warrants are “very rare” and that he thought O’Day made a bad decision by leaving the country.

The bail reduction was one of four amendments the defense requested in the defendant’s conditions of release, which were set on Dec. 1. O’Day’s attorney is Craig Platt from the law firm Platt & Buescher, which has offices in Coupeville and Seattle. Judge Eaton granted Platt’s request to allow the defendant to leave San Juan County, but not the state.

The defense also asked for the amount of distance O’Day is barred from the victim’s school and residence to be reduced from 500 feet to zero because her work, the grocery store and her child’s daycare are within the prescribed distance. Instead, Judge Eaton ruled to allow the defendant to only travel on public streets and only go to work and the daycare, despite their closeness to the victim’s school and residence. Otherwise, he did not change the overall 500-foot distance requirement on both the criminal case’s sexual assault protection order and the separate civil anti-harassment order. The boy’s mother filed the civil order and that temporary order was re-issued until after the scheduled criminal trial date.

Judge Eaton added that the defendant must use the back entrance to her place of employment to further avoid contact with the minor. She must travel directly to and from work, the daycare and home, with no other stops, he said.

According to court documents, on Nov. 2, the defendant 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.

Court documents also state that on Nov. 8, a detective heard a conversation between O’Day and the minor’s father, where she admitted to the allegations of sexual intercourse with the minor and acknowledged the minor’s age.

O’Day has no known prior felony convictions, according to court documents.

Check the Journal for updates.