Approximately 25 people, many young teens, stood in front of the courthouse in Friday Harbor at noon on June 21, demanding “accountability for rapists.”
“That is the reason we are here today, we are demanding accountability,” said Courtney Oldwyn, an island mother of a son and a daughter, who organized the event.
The protest was spurred on by the fact that bail was not imposed on Jason Ryan Aldous, 37, of Friday Harbor, after he had been accused of misconduct with a minor.
Aldous’ preliminary court appearance was on June 3. While Judge Kathryn Loring did not impose bail, she did issue a pretrial sexual assault protection order and a drug and alcohol monitoring device. Aldous’ arraignment was originally scheduled for June 21 but was moved to June 27 at 9:30 a.m.. At the June 27 arraignment he was ordered to pay $25,000 bail, and the next hearing is scheduled for August 8. The protest was scheduled to occur during the original arraignment, but the group decided to continue with the event.
The defendant is being charged with Rape in the Second Degree, Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, Distribution of Controlled Substance to a Person Under age 18 and Sexual Misconduct with a Minor in the First Degree.
Heather Clark, another island mother who was protesting, said, “If we are not going to stand up for our most vulnerable, who are we are we standing up for?”
One of the younger protesters, Maddy Miller, said: “We live in such a small community, it’s very important for our young girls to feel safe. We need to speak out. Young people are getting assaulted, and if people don’t speak out, it will continue.”
The victim also attended the protest.
“It’s unfair. I spent hours and hours in the courtroom while he walks free and does what he wants,” she said.