Local business owner charged with Child RapeSentencing includes two 160 month sentences BY CHUCK TUCK | JOURNAL REPORTER “I think it is important for this community to know and understand that I am not my father’s son. I am the one who brought this to the courts and I have fought diligently to make sure he spends the rest of his life in prison and I won’t stop until that comes to fruition,” Rick Eldredge said, speaking of his father Les Eldredge.
On Friday, March 28 Les Eldredge, 64, owner of Evergreen Sanitation in Lake Stevens was sentenced to 320 months in prison for two counts of Rape of a Child in the First Degree.
Judge Wynne gave his verdict of two 160 month sentences to be served consecutively, and at the end of the time served an indeterminate review board would review his past and present behaviors and what threat Eldredge might be to the public when he is eligible for parole.
Court documents state that the defendant “has been sexually assaulting” his nine-year-old granddaughter for approximately two years in a variety of locations including two locations in Lake Stevens, Chelan County and Marysville.
Rick Eldredge, the victim’s father, went to the Lake Stevens Police after being told of the abuse by his daughter. The victim was also taken to Providence Medical Center where the family sought assistance.
On Oct. 21, 2007, Les Eldredge was taken into custody by the Lake Stevens Police and booked into Snohomish County Jail. After the defendant’s arrest, search warrants were issued on several locations in Lake Stevens and Chelan County.
“In the days following the arrest, police were contacted by several women who indicated that when they were younger they had been both molested and raped by the defendant,” court papers state.
Eldredge, the defendant, agreed to a stipulated trial stating that “he did not want to put the victim in a position where she had to testify in court”.
During the sentencing hearing, Rick, his sister, the father of another victim who lives out of state and others sat quietly as prosecuting attorney Mark Roe read letters he received on behalf of Les Eldredge’s character.
Some gasps were heard as Roe read the letters stating that Les Eldredge was an outstanding citizen of his community, while others held back their tears of disgust and anger.
Roe explained that if doing these types of terrible acts meant that you are a good citizen, then that’s what Eldredge is; “but it’s not,” he said.
Rick read aloud a letter written by his daughter of how afraid she is of her grandpa. He added, in his own words, that all he wants is an apology from his father to him, his daughter and the people he has hurt.
“I have never heard him say I’m sorry to anyone in my entire life,” Rick said.
The time did come when the judge asked Les Eldredge if he had anything to say.
In what seemed like a half-hearted attempt, he apologized for the hurt he has done, but never spoke directly to his son.
“As far as I’m concerned I hope he rots in jail. He is an evil person,” Rick Eldredge said. “I didn’t think it was possible to do some of the things that he was doing. I believe in my heart that what he did is pure evil.”
Now, his main concern is taking care of his daughter and making sure that she has the tools she needs to move on from this ordeal.
“She is doing very well,” he said. “She is in counseling and a special tutoring program. She has bad dreams and wakes up in the middle of the night thinking her abuser is in her room with a gun.”
The Lake Stevens Police Department is looking into the possibility that the defendant molested other girls in the past 40 years and so far it has been discovered that there were at least eight other victims.
“I wouldn’t be surprised that once the individual is sentenced if more victims come forward,” Lake Stevens Police Chief Randy Celori said.
Rick acknowledges that the Lake Stevens Police have done an incredible job with the case and has gained a whole new deference for the local police.
“I have a completely new respect for the Lake Stevens Police,” he said. “Although I was extremely apprehensive dealing with the LSPD, now I am glad and feel very fortunate that I was able to establish a relationship with Julie Jameson. She calls me often and let’s me know what’s going on. They have been very understanding and I appreciate their instantaneous and unwavering support of my daughter and me.”