BELLINGHAM - Charges of first-degree rape and kidnapping against a Birch Bay teenager were dropped, and greatly reduced for a second young man from Bellingham, after the teenage girl involved stopped speaking with police.
Superior Court Judge Deborra Garrett sentenced Trever Rene Jimenez, 21, of Texas Street, to one year and one day in prison for third-degree rape Thursday, Aug. 28.
Jimenez and one of his friends, Eric Zubenko, 18, had been arrested on suspicion of raping a girl, 15, in a car outside a party on Valencia Street.
All three of them had been taking Molly, a pure form of the drug Ecstasy, and drinking beer around 3 a.m. on April 6, according to charging papers.
The girl described being led by the hand to the car. During the sex act, she told police she said, "I don't want to," and cried out that it hurt, while Jimenez held her down.
Jimenez gave a different story: She'd approached them and offered oral sex for drugs. He and Zubenko claimed everything was consensual.
"She didn't seem like she was saying no," Jimenez told police. If she did say no, he added, he didn't hear it.
Afterward one of the girl's friends called police from a nearby grocery store. Police noted the girl was shaking and had makeup streaming down her face.
At St. Joseph hospital she was too upset to finish a rape exam. She left the hospital, and since then she has since refused to cooperate with police.
Charges against Zubenko were dropped on Aug. 11. They can be filed again if new evidence or testimony comes to light.
Jimenez, on the other hand, is 65 months older than the girl, and in Washington an age gap of more than 48 months is considered statutory rape of a 15-year-old child.
So his public defender, Alan Chalfie, brokered a plea deal with the deputy prosecutor, Jonathan Richardson: Jimenez admitted guilt to third-degree rape (not "rape of a child").
During an evaluation before his sentencing, as Jimenez gave his account of what happened, he called the girl names that drew the ire of Judge Garrett.
"I'm concerned that they reflect an attitude, on Mr. Jimenez's part, that he's somehow been framed or forced into this situation by circumstances beyond his control," Garrett said. "And I don't think that's the case."
She added that, based on the probable cause statement, it seemed Jimenez "acted in a way that may have been forcible," but acknowledged there was no way to know for sure if it had been consensual.
At the same court hearing on Thursday, Jimenez was sentenced for selling off $2,500 in stolen Volkswagen tires. He has to pay restitution and serve eight months in jail. Under state law, he'll effectively serve only the longer sentence: one year, for rape.