Former paraeducator set to serve prison term

Forks woman to serve more than 17 years for child rape

Tammy Ann Leask.

Tammy Ann Leask.

FORKS — A former school district paraeducator sentenced last week for child rape and incarcerated in the Clallam County jail awaited transport Wednesday afternoon to the state corrections center in Shelton, where she will be processed before spending at least 17½ years in prison.

Tammy Ann Leask, 40, who pleaded guilty March 17 to four counts of second-degree child rape, was sentenced April 21 to 210 months to life in prison, the minimum under the standard sentencing range.

In a presentence report, a state Department of Corrections officer recommended that the 1999 Forks High School graduate receive the maximum 280 months, or 23.3 years.

Leask assaulted a boy multiple times in her Forks Middle School classroom and at a Lake Crescent campground between Nov. 1, 2019, and Jan. 11, 2020, according to court documents.

“She exploited a position of trust and authority over the victim,” the officer said in her report.

For three years, Leask had known the student, who had mental health problems and was then 13, according to court records.

“Ms. Leask has now negatively impacted the life of [the survivor], his family and the whole community of Forks, WA,” the court records say. “Many of the young people impacted by Ms. Leask’s behavior will question what they saw, what they could have done, why it happened and who they can trust in the future.”

Leask had been charged with five counts of second-degree child rape with special allegations of committing an ongoing pattern of sexual abuse of a minor, using her position of trust to facilitate the assaults, and with a sixth count of distributing a controlled substance, Xanax, to a minor.

Second-degree rape of a child occurs when the child is between 12 and 14 years old.

“17 years is no[t] enough time for the life time of damage you gave me,” the boy said in a text message included in the presentence report.

“I will be haunted by everything you did to me for the rest of my life. You gave me more pain, anger, sadness, anxiety and less reason to live. So now I’ll say the word you told me to never say, goodbye.”

The boy’s mother said her days are consumed with thoughts about what happened to her son.

“Everywhere I go, there is something that reminds me of the horrible acts that were forced upon him,” she said in an email included in the report.

“I struggle with feelings of guilt, remorse and regret that I allowed my son to spend time with this woman,” she said, asking for the maximum sentence.

“It is devastating to me to know that my child is now faced with a lifetime of having to deal with the repercussions of one person’s selfish actions.”

Leask was “100 percent forthcoming” in confessing to the crimes, her lawyer, Stan Myers of Port Angeles, said in an emailed statement for the report.

“She confessed to all incidents that the police already knew about, and also confessed to incidents that the victim had not disclosed.”

After she serves 17½ years — likely at the Washington Corrections Center for Women near Gig Harbor, Myers said this week — she will be considered for release by the Indeterminate Sentence Review Board guidelines.

She will be under community custody and report to authorities as a sex offender for the rest of her life. She also cannot have contact with children younger than 16 except her own three school-age children.

Leask addressed Judge Simon Barnhart before he sentenced her.

“She expressed a lot of remorse for what she did,” Myers said.

“She indicated she had been sexually assaulted twice in her life as well, so she knew the trauma she had caused the victim in this case.”

The sentence review board will review Leask’s sentence every five years after she serves the minimum sentence for possible release, Myers said.

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Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at [email protected].

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