News

North Bend man charged in Whidbey Island child rape case

A North Bend man is one of two 27-year-olds facing child rape charges for having sex with the same underage South Whidbey girl, court documents indicate.

Prosecutors charged Darren Watts of North Bend in Island County Superior Court July 9 with three counts of child rape in the third degree. He pleaded not guilty July 23.

Eric Gum of Everett was charged July 9 with five counts of rape of a child in the third degree.

Detective Laura Price with the Island County Sheriff’s Office started investigating the alleged crimes after she was notified that the 14-year-old girl was impregnated by an adult man. The girl initially thought that Gum had impregnated her.

The girl had met Gum through an older family member. On five occasions in January and February, he allegedly took the ferry to Clinton to meet her late at night and snuck into her home to have sex, according to the detective’s report.

But based on how far along the pregnancy was, the detective realized that Gum couldn’t be the father. The girl admitted to having sex with a different man last November.

The victim met Watts online through Facebook. She said he drove to the Mukilteo ferry and went over to Clinton, where she met him at the dock for the first time. She said Watts had a friend in the car with him and told the friend to put on headphones while he had sex with the girl in the back of the car, according to Price’s report.

After the girl had an abortion, the detective had the state crime lab run a DNA test on the fetus and compare it to DNA from Watts. The results “confirmed that Watts is the biological father of the fetus with a probability of paternity estimate of 99.999991282 percent,” Price wrote in her report.

• Staff Reporter Jessie Stensland wrote the original version of this story for the South Whidbey Record. Contact her at jstensland@whidbeynewsgroup.com.

 

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

Read the latest Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Sep 17 edition online now. Browse the archives.