Man convicted again for sexual assault faces life in prison

PORT ANGELES — A 41-year-old Sequim man was convicted for the second time Friday for sexually assaulting a woman near the Railroad Bridge Park about five years ago.

Steven Eugene Ong was initially sentenced to life in prison — as a third-strike offender — for second-degree assault with sexual motivation and fourth-degree assault in 2008, but his conviction was overturned in the state Court of Appeals.

The issue was over testimony of his previous convictions of burglary and car theft during the first trial, which the appellate court determined was prejudicial.

A jury in Clallam County Superior Court affirmed the conviction during the second trial.

The Clallam County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office announced that it will once again seek life in prison when Ong is sentenced in Superior Court on April 20.

People convicted of serious criminal offenses on three or more separate occasions are considered habitual offenders and are subject to increased incarceration.

Ong had approached a woman who was sunbathing with her toddler near the Sequim-area park during Memorial Day weekend in 2005.

He first asked for a cigarette, then tackled the woman, trying to remove her clothes.

The woman fought with Ong, who grabbed the child, threatening to kill him, after the woman screamed.

He ran into the park and was arrested seven hours later.

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Reporter Tom Callis can be reached at 360-417-3532 or at tom.callis@peninsuladailynews.com.

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