Crime

Peaceful Valley man gets 30 months for child porn; rape charges dropped

A man from Peaceful Valley must spend 2 ½ years in prison for owning videos of young children being raped, a judge ruled Thursday, March 5.

Jason Aubrey Applington’s wife contacted sheriff’s deputies in December 2013 to turn in pornographic videos of children stored on her husband’s laptop and a home server he’d designed himself. Seven videos were graphically described in a detective’s report. Many of the children looked younger than 10, according to the charges.

Eight months later a young girl Applington knew came forward to say he’d sexually assaulted her. Applington, 34, denied the allegations. His public defender, Shoshana Paige, said in court if the case had gone to trial, they were ready to “vigorously defend” against the accusations, due to serious concerns with the girl’s credibility and competence. The girl had made other dubious, fantasy-based statements, according to Paige.

Applington was arrested in August 2014. A detective confronted Applington with the level of sexual detail in the girl’s account, a clear sign, the detective suggested, that she was abused by someone.

“Mr. Applington said that he wanted to break the person’s neck that did hurt (her),” according to court records.

Ultimately the child rape charges were dropped. Applington pleaded guilty in Whatcom County Superior Court to two counts of possessing depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct in the first degree.

Applington’s wife wrote a two-page statement to the judge, Charles Snyder, about how devastated she was when she first found the porn on his computer, and the fallout of the months that followed. She said he deserved at least the maximum allowed under the law (about three years in prison.)

“I truly believe,” she wrote, “Jason is a danger to society and it is only a matter of time before another young child and family is completely destroyed by him.”

Judge Snyder approved a plea deal reached by Paige and the deputy prosecutor, Christopher Quinn, to put Applington in prison for 30 months. Applington did not speak Thursday at his sentencing hearing.

Applington held an EMT license from 2000 to 2003, according to state Department of Health records. Around then, while he was living in Spokane, police investigated him for taking photos of two 16-year-old girls. He was not charged with a crime. He held a job as a pipe-fitting manufacturer at the time of his arrest. On the side he sometimes took portraits — “classy, senior photo style,” according to his statements in court papers — of young women.

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