Two years after his request to relocate to San Juan Island was denied by state corrections officials, a level 3 sex offender is expected to make the island his home sometime in the near future.
Local authorities last week received a letter from David Franklin Stewart notifying them of his intent to relocate to San Juan Island, where he and his wife bought a home in the Bridal Vail neighborhood in 2004. The 60-year-old, convicted a year earlier of first-degree rape of a child, is no longer under supervision of the state Department of Corrections and is free to come and go, and live, where he chooses, San Juan County Sheriff Rob Nou said.
"He's served his time, so to speak," Nou said. "Two years ago we had two community meetings that were well-attended and we were very upfront at that time in saying that in 22 months he would no longer be under corrections’ supervision."
As a registered sex offender, Nou said that Stewart must notify the Sheriff's Department of his place of residency within three days after moving to a new location. Stewart, who, as a Level 3 sex offender, is considered at "high-risk" to re-offend, served seven and a half years in prison and two years of DOC-supervised probation following his conviction in 2003. He has lived in the Sultan area, located near the Monroe state penitentiary, following his release from prison.
Nou said the letter from Stewart indicated that he could be relocating to his San Juan Island home as early Monday, but that as of Tuesday, he had not been at the Sheriff's Office to register his place of residency.
According to the San Juan County Sheriff's Department sex-offender website, Stewart admitted to a 30-year history of sexually assaulting boys and girls as young as one to two years of age, as well as teens. He failed to complete a sex offender program while in prison for lack of progress.
Stewart's request in 2011 to relocate to San Juan Island prompted a series of protests on the courthouse lawn and a flurry of letters to DOC from local residents asking that his request to move to San Juan Island be denied. Officers based in Corrections Oak Harbor headquarters made successive visits to the Bridal Vail neighborhood at that time and recommended to their superiors in Olympia that the request should be denied.
Nou said the Sheriff's Department intends to notify the public of Stewart's plans to relocate to San Juan Island, and that the department would make quarterly checks about his residency in the event that he does move to the island.