Judge also imposes SSOSA sentence
By Natalie Johnson
Jedidiah McMillan, who pleaded guilty earlier this year to four felony counts of sexual crimes against a child, was sentenced last week under the state’s Special Sex Offender Sentencing Alternative, requiring him to spend a year in jail but be monitored by the state Department of Corrections Community Custody program for nearly two decades following his release.
McMillan, 19, of Twisp, pleaded guilty to first-degree child molestation, first-degree rape of a child and two counts of indecent liberties with forcible compulsion.
The sentencing hearing took place May 11 in Okanogan County Superior Court.
Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer, acting as a special prosecutor appointed to the case, recommended a sentence under the Special Sex Offender Sentencing Alternative (SSOSA), which was agreed to by the defense.
Like the Drug Offender Sentencing Alternative, a person sentenced under SSOSA gets a prison term, but all or a portion of the term is suspended provided that person meets certain conditions, including completing treatment and staying out of trouble.
If a person reoffends or doesn’t complete treatment, a judge could sentence them to the full term in prison.
McMillan’s sentence, imposed by Superior Court Judge Henry Rawson, was for 240 months, or 20 years in prison. However, all but 12 months of that time in custody was suspended per the SSOSA process.
McMillan will serve the remainder of the suspended sentence under supervision from the Department of Corrections, and will be required to undergo five years of therapy. He will be required to make reasonable progress and complete the program, or his SSOSA sentence could be revoked, and he would be required to serve the rest of his term in custody.
The victim’s mother, who the Methow Valley News is not naming to protect the victim’s privacy, said the family is satisfied with the outcome.
“Do I feel like justice was served? Yes. That’s what the court felt was appropriate for his crimes,” she said. “I learned a lot throughout the process. I learned it’s important to pay attention to who we elect … as far as prosecutors and judges.”
McMillan will also not be allowed to possess a gun, consume controlled substances including marijuana without a valid prescription, not live within 880 feet of facilities or grounds of a school, and pay court costs and costs for counseling for the victim, among other requirements of the sentence. He will be subject to annual review hearings.
If the suspended sentence is revoked, McMillan will be required to complete another 36 months of community custody by the DOC after his release from incarceration.
He will be required to register as a sex offender.
“As I told the court, it’s an oddity in that he was a juvenile [when the crimes were committed] and an adult when it was discovered and charged, so you have a merging of two systems,” Meyer told the Methow Valley News.
The juvenile justice system is designed to focus on rehabilitation rather than punitive justice, he added, saying that had McMillan been charged and convicted as a juvenile, he likely would have received the juvenile version of the SSOSA sentence.
McMillan’s attorney, Randy Theis, argued in court documents that a lengthy prison sentence would not be appropriate.
“Mr. McMillan will benefit from the treatment he will receive under a SSOSA, and can thus become a contributing member of society, not be warehoused for crimes he committed so long ago,” Theis wrote in a memorandum filed with the court.
According to court documents, the crimes occurred on more than one occasion when McMillan was 13 and 14 years old, with the victim being a minor significantly younger than he was.
The Methow Valley News does not identify minors who are victims of crimes, or victims of sexual crimes.
According to court documents, the victim reported in 2019 that McMillan had sexually assaulted her several years earlier, and that he had told her not to tell anyone. After law enforcement became involved, McMillan reportedly gave a statement confirming a majority of the victim’s allegations.
The Okanogan County Prosecutor’s Office at one point considered a resolution to the case involving no jail time and no criminal record for McMillan, while the state Department of Corrections recommended a 20-year prison sentence.
“To any victims of sexual assault: Be brave enough to speak out. Underreporting is too common. Having walked through this process, now we understand why many people don’t report it,” the victim’s mother told the Methow Valley News. “Don’t let anyone minimize abuse. We’ve seen it happen in our situation, hearing people debate the veracity of the victim, listen to people defend an admitted offender. There is a lot of support out there if you choose to seek it.”