Aldous pleads guilty to all five counts

by Heather Spaulding and Colleen Smith

Warning: The following story contains graphic sexual details.

Jason Ryan Aldous, 38, of Friday Harbor, pleaded guilty on June 21 to two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and three counts of distribution of a controlled substance to a person under 18. Aldous is scheduled to be sentenced on July 31, at 2 p.m. Charges were originally filed in June of 2022, and Aldous had initially pleaded not guilty.

According to court documents, Aldous qualified for Special Sex Offender Sentencing Alternative Review, or SSOSA, but declined. In order to get an SSOSA, the perpetrator must not have any prior violent criminal history or any other sex offenses; it must not have been a violent offense; and the victim must not have suffered any bodily harm.

Timeline of allegations

In late May 2022, San Juan County Detective Raymond Harvey met with a teen girl who detailed alleged abuse in the home of Aldous from November 2021 to April 2022.

The victim dropped out of high school in May 2021 after her biological mother removed her from their home. The victim lived with a boyfriend for five months until she moved in with Aldous and his wife, who she both worked with at a Friday Harbor business.

In early November, the couple became the victim’s Minor (Child) Power of Attorney. The form was signed by the victim’s mother, authorizing Aldous and his wife to have full custodial powers, including providing food, clothing, shelter and everyday care of the child’s physical and emotional well-being, viewing medical records, making any type of health care decision and traveling anywhere in the United States. There is evidence that shows the victim referred to Aldous and his wife as “mom and dad.”

On Nov. 3, a motion for emergency guardianship and restraining order were submitted to San Juan County by Aldous and his wife, who wrote they wanted to provide the victim a “safe place to live and heal from her trauma” as well as receive child support for providing care to her. That petition was withdrawn on Nov. 8, citing “the current emergency had been resolved.”

According to the detective’s report, later that month the victim voluntarily committed herself to in-patient treatment at an off-island facility. She initially was sent to Peace Island Peace Health Hospital, where staff reported odd behavior by Aldous, including cuddling and kissing the victim. A deputy wrote a report about the alleged behavior but Detective Harvey told the Journal it couldn’t be determined that a crime had been committed. The victim later returned to the home of Aldous and says the first incident of sexual intercourse occurred in mid-November after the defendant allegedly came into her room, gave her alcohol and had sex with her while she was intoxicated.

Starting in December, the two allegedly began having sex regularly while Aldous’ wife was at work. He also began giving the victim Ativan and Xanax which had not been prescribed to her. In late December, the victim attempted to jump out of a second-story window. She was held back by Aldous, who she then bit. He called for his wife, who came into the room to help. The victim then told his wife about the sexual relationship. She reportedly asked Aldous and the victim if it was “consensual.” Aldous claimed the victim had raped him while the two were drunk. According to the report, “he later explained to the victim that he had to say that otherwise (his wife) would divorce him.”

The abuse allegedly continued until April 2022 with sexual intercourse happening multiple times a week. According to the probable cause statement, the victim explained “that it would either happen when no one was home or late at night when everyone in the house was sleeping.” Aldous gradually became more “rough” and allegedly started choking her and taking videos and photos during sex. The victim showed Detective Harvey one of the recordings she had in her possession. She said Aldous took polaroids of her with his children’s camera while they were engaging in intercourse and that the polaroids were in a dresser drawer in her room.

In March, a third party notified Child Protective Services about the alleged misconduct between Aldous and the victim. When questioned about it, the victim told CPS it was just a “rumor.” Two months later, the victim contacted the sheriff’s office to report the alleged abuse.

Arrest of Aldous

Police obtained a single-party consent order to record a phone conversation between the victim and Aldous. In the June 2 recording, Aldous spoke of supplying the victim with Xanax, having previous sexual acts together and meeting up later to have intercourse. That same day, a search warrant was issued for his person, residence and vehicle. At around 5 p.m., the victim contacted Detective Harvey stating that Aldous had messaged her and was ready to pick her up. He was arrested a short time later at a Friday Harbor grocery store, where he had purchased a case of beer.

According to Harvey’s report, “His communications with the victim indicated he had every intention to pick her up, take her home, and engage in sexual acts with her.” Aldous’ cell phone was taken by police and his vehicle was towed and impounded at the Sheriff’s Office. A search of his home revealed polaroid photos of the victim engaging in sexual acts where the victim stated they would be located.

During his interview with Detective Harvey, Aldous admitted that he had a conversation with the victim that morning but said she was saying “inappropriate things.” He stated he has only ever given the victim her prescribed medications. When asked about the alleged sexual intercourse, he said he has been “questioned on this multiple times but indicated it was not true.”

Aldous does not have a criminal history.