Anthony J. “AJ” Fugitt of Poulsbo was sentenced to six years in prison for three counts of child molestation in the second degree Monday morning at Kitsap County Superior Court.
Fugitt was arrested on charges of rape by a detective with the Poulsbo Police Department after receiving reports of rape taken by another officer on Feb. 13.
The victim described the four instances of rape over the course of a two-year period, in great detail according to court filings. Both the interviewer and the investigator found the victim’s story to be credible.
According to testimony from the victim’s mother, Fugitt had known the victim and the family for years.
Upon his arrest, Fugitt did not deny the charges filed against him, ask where the accusations were coming from or ask why he was being arrested, despite having no prior criminal history at the time.
Fugitt was arraigned on March 12, where he initially pleaded not guilty, at which time a trial date was set for April, 22. Over the course of the last year, trial dates had been set and reset until finally a plea agreement was reached on July 31.
Rather than being charged with one count of rape of a child, which can carry a life sentence and a $50,000 fine, Fugitt pleaded guilty to three counts of child molestation in the second degree, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years. The second degree corresponds to the age of the victim being between 12 and 14 years old. In this case, the victim was actually 8-10 years old when the assaults occurred.
“She told me she sees it as a downgraded version of what he did to her. I hope you will take all of this into consideration when you determine the best course of action. It does not seem right that plea deals should allow for an increase to the victim’s age,” the mother of the victim said during the sentencing.
The initial agreement that had been reached had Fugitt serving 57 months, roughly five years, in prison.
According to Fugitt’s lawyer, he chose to take the plea deal so as to avoid subjecting the victim to the trauma of a trial process where they would be cross-examined. The mother of the victim noted in her statement that they were prepared to go to trial if necessary, however.
The presiding Judge for the case, Kevin Hull, noted that these types of cases are very tough and that the impacts of these types of crimes do not go away. Though Fugitt had no previous criminal history, between the time of the rapes and the time of his arrest he had accumulated two DUIs.
“I cannot in good conscience ignore these recent acts of criminal activity and therefore will impose the full 75 months sentence,” Hull said.