CRIME WATCH FOLLOWUP: Sentencing in rape case

19-year-old Jackson U. Sullivan is in the King County Jail tonight, starting his nine-month sentence for raping a then-16-year-old girl during a party in November 2019. That’s the sentence recommended by the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office in the plea bargain that resulted in Sullivan pleading guilty two weeks ago, as reported here. The nine-month sentence was ordered by King County Superior Court Judge Josephine Wiggs-Martin in what we’re told was a crowded courtroom this afternoon, We were unable to go downtown for the hearing, and documents from it are not yet available in online files, but we got confirmation of the sentence tonight from the KCPAO. Sullivan was charged with second-degree rape in April 2020, accused of raping a girl who was incapable of consent, “intoxicated to the point of loss of motor functions … (during) what should have been an enjoyable high-school party.” In the plea bargain, he pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of third-degree rape, which carries a standard sentence of six months to a year.

20 Replies to "CRIME WATCH FOLLOWUP: Sentencing in rape case"

  • Huh? August 6, 2021 (10:16 pm)

    Only 9 months? What a broken system.

    • Suzette August 6, 2021 (10:29 pm)

      My thoughts exactly! 

  • Djet7carn August 7, 2021 (9:13 am)

    Dan Satterberg Elected 2018Remember to vote for someone else in 2022

  • Belvidear August 7, 2021 (9:55 am)

    While survivors are sentenced to a lifetime of PTSD…Sending love to the young woman and her family. 

    • Jill P August 7, 2021 (11:17 am)

      I get your point but please let’s not underestimate this young woman. She has a right to her trauma, her anger and also her power to heal.

      • Belvidear August 7, 2021 (6:51 pm)

        Don’t underestimate any of us survivors.

  • Guy August 7, 2021 (10:17 am)

    Wow, he should have gotten at least 10 years, will he be required to register as a sex offender? What a shamefully light sentence. 

  • old timer August 7, 2021 (12:10 pm)

    March 27, 2019. Josephine WiggsMartin. Last week, Gov. Jay Inslee appointed Josephine WiggsMartin to King County Superior Court. See if she has an opponent when she is up for re-election?idk, 9 months seems like a free pass for the crime.

  • Admiral Mom August 7, 2021 (12:12 pm)

    I was there. The judge addressed the defendant during sentencing and said that he should thank his lawyer because individuals that commit these kinds of crimes spend years in prison and told him that he showed a predatory pattern. The judge acknowledged there are other victims and read part of a letter written by one of them identified only by her initials. There were almost 50 people in the courtroom, many adults I think were members of the Sullivan family. The victim statement was powerful and moving. Also moving was to see more than a dozen teenagers there wrapping their arms around the victim as the court waited for the sheriff to take convicted felon Jackson Sullivan away in handcuffs. This is my recount as a witness. All details are public record.

  • Auntie August 7, 2021 (12:46 pm)

    He showed a predatory pattern, yet he will be out and about in nine months – likely offending again, at the expense of some innocent victim. What a world we live in…

  • Reality Chick August 7, 2021 (5:08 pm)

    One parent of the convicted felon is a local realtor whose wealth and connections must have worked in his favor.  Nine months is a slap on the wrist–which if I understand correctly was agreed to by the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, not the judge. So sad for the young women who were preyed on and assaulted. 

    • WSB August 7, 2021 (6:17 pm)

      Judges are not bound to adhere to the recommendation. It was explained once at a meeting I covered, however, that judges usually do follow the recommendation because if they didn’t, plea bargains would be more difficult to reach because the defendant would be taking more of a gamble. A deputy prosecutor once explained in a Q&A at the WS Crime Prevention Council that something lik 75% of cases end in plea bargains; trials are tremendously expensive.

  • Michelle S August 7, 2021 (5:33 pm)

    Bless this young lady , she is one STRONG PERSON!!!!!

  • LY August 7, 2021 (11:38 pm)

    9 months for violently trespassing her body. Utter garbage. He should have gotten more than that.

  • Michelle August 8, 2021 (2:00 pm)

    While judges are not bound by a recommendation, recommendations are almost always followed unless there is a reason not to because otherwise it undermines the whole point of negotiation between the defense and prosecution. It should also be noted that the sentence is a function of what is applicable in the statutory range, not something random or discretionary. Our state has a published statutory range for felony time and convictions based on the crime and whether there is an offender score for the defendant. This sentence is not the function of a judge deciding this is the appropriate amount of time, it is the function of the sentencing scheme that we have for felony convictions in the state of Washington. In case, this 19-year-old had no prior convictions and no offender score and got an offer to reduce the charge to rape three, so the sentence falls within that range. is difficult for a judge to justify going above that range. 

  • Ugh August 8, 2021 (5:32 pm)

    Lots of kids were drinking at that party. It’s a shame those who saw them beforehand didn’t intervene. This kind of thing is exactly why I didn’t want my kids at that party. 

  • Father of a Girl August 9, 2021 (5:25 pm)

    There is no happy ending to this story, nor can there be.  However, there are a few positives that give
    me some hope.  First, the survivor is a brave
    young lady who came forward and fought hard to make sure this predator was convicted
    and hopefully keep other young women from being harmed by him in the future.  Nine months is far to short of a
    sentence.  Hopefully Jackson will spend his
    time in prison thinking about his actions and understand there are consequences
    for actions, especially if he reoffends.


    An additional positive is the number of West Seattle High School
    young women who supported the survivor, encourage her to come forward, and stood
    by her side throughout the very difficult and painful process.  My daughter is one of these young women.  These young ladies also sought out other survivors
    of this predator and encouraged them to come forward.  The other survivors came forward in whatever
    way was best given their individual situations, mostly by writing letters to
    the judge.


    Finally, there were two West Seattle High School young men who
    were there the night of the party, who became concerned about the survivor, and
    searched to find her.  They found her and
    supported her that night and served as witnesses.  The outcome may have been much worse if it
    were not for the efforts of these young men and women from the survivor’s high
    school.  I am proud of them all, and most
    proud of the survivor.  I hope she finds
    a small amount of comfort knowing that she very likely saved other young women
    from future attacks from this predator. 
    She is brave, courageous, and inspiring.  

  • Kristin August 12, 2021 (8:05 am)

    First, yes, it’s happened to me. Am I angry that this EVER happens? Yes. Is it preventable? Much more than what people think. Is the criminal justice system a deterrent? Nope, especially if you have money and you are white. Connections help. Get to know Bryan Stevenson and his work with the Equal Justice Initiative ( He has an excellent TedTalk. Read The New Jim Crow. Focusing on punitive solutions won’t lead to greater justice. The system is rigged. Focus on fighting injustices and inequities beginning when your kids are first born. Systemic oppression is in our healthcare system. Keep fighting it—in schools, religious institutions, neighborhoods/housing institutions, etc. Model compassion, empathy, and generosity. Too much competition and senses of entitlement happening. Youth are amazing, resilient, innately good and just people. The world would be a better place if we learn from our young people and live as if they are watching and learning from us. Because they are.

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