Crime

Bellingham man admits to reduced charge in Maritime Heritage Park rape case

The Bellingham Herald

A Bellingham man pleaded guilty Thursday, Oct. 13, to felony assault in a case where he was accused of raping a woman in Maritime Heritage Park.

A woman, 60, met a man she knew only as Mike on Aug. 4 as she drank with a group of people in the park. At night she pitched a tent with her boyfriend and another woman, but she slept outside, according to charging papers.

She was awakened by Mike at some point, and they walked to his camp to smoke meth, according to the charges. He forced her to perform oral sex, she reported, and once she stopped he hit her.

Eventually she fled, found a worker at a nearby loading dock and reported she had been raped. Police identified the suspect as Michael Eugene Huskey, 46. He was charged with rape in the second degree.

But the woman did not want to pursue the case, said Eric Richey, the chief criminal deputy prosecutor. So instead of forcing her to testify Richey reached a plea deal with Huskey’s public defender, Darrin Hall.

Huskey admitted guilt to assault in the second degree. Superior Court Judge Raquel Montoya-Lewis sentenced him to two years in prison, below the standard range of 43 to 57 months, as suggested by the deal.

Weeks before Huskey’s arrest, another rape in the park was reported involving the homeless population. The defendant in that case, Lance Joseph Rosa, 37, awaits trial.

Caleb Hutton: 360-715-2276, @bhamcaleb

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