A Bellingham man who molested two middle-school girls in spring 2012 was resentenced last Tuesday in Whatcom County Superior Court, taking two years off his original sentence.
Jason Ryan McCall, 41, got the high end of the sentencing range for his crimes. He was given four years in prison, with three years probation. A sexual assault protection order was signed for the victims in the case. McCall’s attorney, Alan Chalfie, said he intended to file a notice of appeal, according to court records.
The resentencing was because of a Washington State Court of Appeals decision that ruled some of McCall’s prior felony convictions shouldn’t have been included in his score for determining the length of his prison sentence.
In the appeals court opinion, McCall and Chalfie argued that his prior offenses for unlawful possession of a firearm should not have been included in his sentencing score because it was not the same criminal conduct involved in the case. They further argued that McCall’s felony conviction out of Texas also shouldn’t have been included.
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The Appeals Court ruled those convictions should be excluded from McCall’s sentencing calculations and sent the case back down for resentencing.
McCall was found guilty by a jury March 4 of second-degree child molestation and fourth-degree assault with sexual motivation, according to court records. He was sentenced in May 2016 to six years in prison.
McCall was acquitted by the jury of two other felonies –indecent liberties and third-degree child molestation.
McCall had been staying with the middle-school girl’s family after a fight with his wife in spring 2012, according to court records. The girl told a teacher that over spring break she awoke to find McCall sexually touching her, according to court papers filed in the case.
The girl later told a Bellingham Police detective the abuse happened more than once. She would have been 13 or 14 at the time. During following interviews with detectives, two others in the house – the girl’s cousin and mother – also alleged inappropriate sexual touching by McCall and claimed they had awoken to him touching various parts of their bodies while he stayed at the house, according to court documents.
At his first sentencing hearing, attorneys from both sides argued for more than an hour about whether McCall’s previous felony convictions – including unlawful possession of a firearm, meth possession and burglary – should be included in his sentencing score.
Ultimately, the judge sided with the prosecutor and sentenced McCall to the maximum time allowed under state sentencing guidelines. McCall appealed that decision May 23, 2016.