SEQUIM — A Clallam County man faces seven charges of repeatedly raping a girl from when she was at least 9 years old until she was 15.
Anthony Ward, 37, was charged June 27, 2017, in Whatcom County Superior Court with one count of first-degree child rape, two counts of second-degree child rape and four counts of third-degree child rape.
Ward, released in January 2018 on $30,000 bail, is living in Sequim and is not allowed to communicate with minors, according to court records.
His trial confirmation hearing is April 17.
A two-week jury trial is scheduled to begin April 22.
The standard sentencing range for the charges is at least 20 to 26.5 years, with a maximum of life in prison, said Evan Jones, Whatcom County deputy prosecuting attorney, on Wednesday.
Each charge contains the aggravating circumstance that Ward’s behavior “was part of an ongoing pattern of sexual abuse of the same victim under the age of 18 years manifested by multiple incidents over a prolonged period of time,” according to the charges.
Jones said the aggravating factors allow a judge to go beyond the standard sentencing range.
“The allegations as charged are horrific, and we are taking the case very seriously,” he said. “I expect either a trial or a resolution of the case this spring.”
Jones said he is not aware of Ward having any prior criminal history in Washington.
He said court documents do not contain a middle name for Ward.
The girl, now 17, told authorities in June 2017 that Ward began sexually abusing her in 2009 when she was a 7-year-old second-grader living in another state, according to the probable cause statement.
It continued after she moved to Sequim in 2010 and to Blaine in 2015, according to a probable cause statement.
After the attacks, “Ward would ask her to pray for him because he was trying to get better,” according to the statement.
The girl said the last time she was raped was June 16, before her high school graduation.
Child Protective Services reported the abuse to Whatcom County authorities six days later.
“She stated that she had been reluctant to report the sexual abuse in the past because she did not want [Ward] to go to jail and she was worried about what others might think,” according to the probable cause statement.
The girl currently is doing well, Jones said.
“I met with her,” he said. “She’s affected by the abuse that occurred, but she’s a strong young lady, I would say.”
Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at [email protected].