Plea deal likely in student rape case

Former paraeducator may face 17½ years

FORKS — A former Quillayute Valley School District paraeducator charged with sexually assaulting a seventh-grader will change her plea to guilty at a hearing Wednesday in Clallam County Superior Court, she said at a status hearing.

Tammy Ann Leask has accepted a plea offer to serve 17½ years in prison on four charges of second-degree child rape, her lawyer, Stan Myers of Port Angeles, said after Friday’s hearing.

Judge Simon Barnhart, who will accept her change of plea at a 9 a.m. hearing Wednesday, does not have to accept the sentencing recommendation of Myers and the prosecuting attorney’s office. He will sentence her following a pre-sentence investigation.

She is charged with five counts of second-degree rape of a child for having intercourse with a boy who was between 12 and 14 years old between Nov. 1, 2019, and Jan. 11, 2020.

A sixth count charged her with distributing a controlled substance to a minor for allegedly giving him Xanax, a panic-disorder prescription medicine.

The rape charges include special allegations of Leask being in a position of trust with the boy and of engaging in an ongoing pattern of abuse.

The maximum sentence on each charge is life in prison.

The mother of three children was faced with a seven-day trial on the six charges beginning April 12. Basden struck the trial Friday.

The boy said Leask assaulted him five times in her Forks Middle School classroom and once at a Lake Crescent campground, according to the probable cause statement written by sheriff’s office Detective Brandon Stoppani.

The boy said he was scared Leask would hurt his family if he did not have sex with her and said she threatened to kill herself if he said anything about it.

He disclosed the relationship to a school investigator Aug. 24. Two days later, in a court-ordered wiretap of a conversation between the two, she told him, “tell them nothing happened” and “this is all my fault,” according to the statement.

Leask was arrested the next day in the Forks High School parking lot.

She spent her 40th birthday Saturday in jail on $150,000 bail.

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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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