By Diana Hefley Herald Writer
EVERETT — A teenager who assaulted three girls at a Marysville day-care was sentenced on Tuesday to two years behind bars.
Dakota Wilson is expected to be held in the Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration until his 21st birthday. He also will be on community custody for 5 1/2 years once he’s released from juvenile detention.
Wilson, who turns 19 in September, pleaded guilty last month to three felony assaults and two misdemeanor assaults.
Prosecutors in September charged Wilson with child rape and molestation rising from allegations that he sexually assaulted three girls, ages 10 to 5, at All Hours Childcare in Marysville. The 24-hour in-home day care was owned by Wilson’s mother. He lived there and helped his mother with the operations, court papers said.
Wilson was a juvenile at the time of the assaults. He was charged in adult court as required under the law.
The teen denied sexually assaulting the girls.
Detectives reported that Wilson allegedly admitted that he’d sexually assaulted children at his mother’s previous day care in Idaho. He allegedly told detectives that he’d learned to control his sexual urges by filling his time with friends and video games, Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Matt Hunter wrote in charging papers.
Superior Court Judge George Appel agreed to sever the charges, meaning Hunter would have to try Wilson separately for each of the three victims.
In June, a jury was impaneled, ready to hear the first case. On the eve of trial, however, Hunter and defense attorneys, Jennifer Rancourt and Jason Schwarz, reached a plea agreement.
Hunter agreed to refile the charges not as sex crimes after Superior Court Judge Anita Farris indicated that jury may not hear some of the statements Wilson made to police, including his comments about controlling his sexual urges. Her final decision, the judge said, would hinge on what the young victim said on the witness stand.
Hunter told Farris that he couldn’t guarantee what the girl, 11, would say in a courtroom full of strangers and Wilson.
The prosecutor believed it was unlikely that the jury would be allowed to hear the defendant’s statements. Additionally, Farris had already ruled that the jury would not hear about the other two victims nor would jurors hear about the investigation in Idaho, which did not result in any criminal charges, let alone a conviction.
“I watched one strong case turn into three relatively weak cases,” Hunter said Tuesday.
The prosecutor wasn’t willing to risk Wilson being acquitted and his actions going unpunished, he said.
Wilson pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree assault and two counts of fourth-degree assault. He also pleaded guilty to third-degree assault in juvenile court. Wilson faced about a year in prison under the standard range. Lawyers agreed to recommend an exceptional sentence outside the range, meaning Wilson will be held until his 21st birthday. They also agreed to more than triple the time he would be under the supervision of the state Department of Corrections.
Incarcerating Wilson in juvenile detention, instead of adult prison, means he will receive treatment, his lawyers said.
“This treatment centered approach gives Mr. Wilson the greatest opportunity to improve himself and reduce the potential risk for recidivism,” Rancourt and Schwarz wrote in court papers.
Farris ordered Wilson to undergo sexual deviancy treatment inside and outside prison. She also ordered him to follow numerous rules once he’s out. She forbid him from being around children. He is not allowed to live with minors or visit anyone with children.
She also banned him from working any place where children may frequent, such as a day-care or amusement park.
Farris also warned Wilson that if he violates any terms of probation or the rules she established, he could wind up behind bars an additional two years.
Wilson will not be required to register as a sex offender.
Parents of the victims said on Tuesday that they are concerned that other children will be in danger because Wilson doesn’t have to register his address with police. They also were critical of Wilson’s mother and state officials here and in Idaho for not doing enough to prevent Wilson from having access to children.
Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; firstname.lastname@example.org.