By JESSIE STENSLAND
WHIDBEY NEWS TIMES
Island County Chief Criminal Deputy Colleen Kenimond was very disappointed that a former North Whidbey soccer club coach who raped a teen player won’t be going to prison.
Jeovanni Camacho, Jr., a 34-year-old Oak Harbor resident, pleaded guilty in Island County Superior Court Sept. 28 to three counts of child rape in the third degree.
At a hearing Wednesday morning, Judge Alan Hancock allowed Camacho to be sentenced under the state’s Special Sex Offender Sentencing Alternative, also known as a SSOSA, which allows first-time offenders to avoid prison by going through sex offender therapy.
A SSOSA is a complicated process. Hancock sentenced Camacho to five years in prison, but suspended all but a year of the sentence. That means he’ll spend a year in the county jail.
Afterward, Camacho will have to complete a three-year sexual deviancy treatment program. If he doesn’t comply with treatment or a long list of other conditions, Camacho could be sent to prison for the remainder of the suspended sentence.
At the sentencing hearing, Kenimond recommended that Camacho received the maximum sentence of five years in prison, which she felt was lenient. On the other hand, the Department of Corrections and the victim felt that a SSOSA is appropriate.
Kenimond wasn’t pleased that the judge agreed with the more lenient recommendations.
“It wasn’t just the child, he violated the community. He was a soccer coach,” Kenimond said in an interview after the hearing. “Where are our girls safe?”
Kenimond pointed out that Camacho admitted to the Department of Corrections that he had sex with the girl “more than 50 but less than 100 times” during a year-long period, beginning when she was just 14 years old. Camacho was the girl’s soccer coach and became a friend of the family.
Community Corrections Officer Helen Desmond completed a pre-sentence investigation after Camacho pleaded guilty to the three counts. The reports states that Camacho started having sex with the girl in March of 2006, unbeknownst to her parents. He sneaked into her room at night, picked her up from summer school to have sex with her and even raped her when she was supposed to be at her high school homecoming.
The girl’s parents and therapist tried to stop her contact with Camacho, but he bought her a cell phone and continued to sneak into her room.
The affidavit of probable cause states that the girl was initially reluctant to talk to police about the abuse, but she realized the inappropriateness of Camacho’s behavior after going through in-patient treatment out of state.
Camacho said he fell in love with the girl and even asked her to marry him, Desmond wrote in her report.
Camacho also admitted to viewing child pornography on two occasions, the report states.
The victim, who is now 18 years old, traveled all the way from California to speak at the sentencing hearing.
According to Kenimond, the girl repeated that she has a hard time not blaming herself for what happened. She asked the judge to order Camacho to undergo treatment in lieu of a long prison term.
This article was originally published in the Whidbey News Times on November 27, 2009.
Jessie Stensland can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.