Islands' Sounder


Brutal attack, sexual assault prompts two-year prison term for Orcas man

Islands Sounder Journal of the San Juans editor
February 22, 2013 · Updated 9:00 AM

An Orcas Island man who admitted to brutalizing a live-in girlfriend during an alcohol-fueled two-day attack was sentenced to two years in prison after pleading guilty to two felonies, including third-degree rape.

On Feb. 15, Frederick Elden Hardtke, 52, was ordered to serve a total of 24 months in prison and to pay $5,788 in fines, fees and restitution as part of a sentence handed down in San Juan County Superior Court by Judge Don Eaton. Hardtke, who had initially been charged with seven criminal offenses following his arrest a year ago in late July, pleaded guilty a week earlier to one count of second-degree assault, a Class B felony, and to one count of third-degree rape, a Class C felony.

According to court documents, Hardtke claims to have been intoxicated to the point of having no recollection of the prolonged assault, which began at his Eastsound home in the early afternoon of July 26 and then resumed the following day. He and the victim are parents of an adult daughter, who lived in an apartment at the home the couple shared.

A Class B felony, second-degree assault carries maximum penalties of 10 years in prison, a $20,000 fine, or both; however, under standards set by the state, Hardtke faced a standard range of sentencing of 6-12 months in jail, and a range of 12-14 months in prison on the third-degree rape conviction.  The two-year prison term is considered an "exceptional sentence" because it exceeds the state standard.

According to court documents, Hardtke brutalized and threatened the woman with various firearms over a two-day period after an early afternoon dispute at their Eastsound home escalated into an altercation. The attack began after Hardtke, reportedly intoxicated at the time, snatched a cell phone out of the woman's hand, smashed it on the floor, and then grabbed and fiercely twisted one of her arms, while at the same time threatening her with a handgun.

He reportedly threatened the woman with firearms throughout the night and the following day, and sexually assaulted her twice within that time frame as well.

On the second day, after Hardtke was lured away from the home by their daughter, the woman notified authorities of the assault and was escorted from the home and to the Sheriff Department’s Eastsound office, where she gave authorities a detailed account of the assault. Following a brief struggle with three deputies outside his home, in which he was subdued by a taser, Hardtke was taken into custody July 27, shortly before noon.

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