Residents dispute risk level given to Jolley

Glenn Jolley -
Glenn Jolley
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Is a Glenn Jolley a threat to his community or not?

This was the question up for debate at a public meeting Tuesday night, during which Jolley -- a convicted sex offender scheduled to be released from prison Monday -- was the topic.

A small collection of about a dozen of Jolley's neighbors and acquaintances showed up for the meeting with Island County Sheriff's Office and state corrections officials. Island County Sheriff Mike Hawley, who did the bulk of the talking, said the gathering in the South Whidbey High School Commons was the smallest he can remember in several hundred other similar meetings he has conducted.

Though he will be considered a Level 3 registered sex offender when he moves into a home on Drummuir Road in the Maxwelton area next week, the danger Jolley poses to those around him may not be as high as his rating indicates, according to both Sheriff Hawley and others at Tuesday's meeting. An offender with a Level 3 rating is considered to be at the highest risk to reoffend.

Convicted on an indecent liberties charge last November for sexually molesting a female patient, Jolley, a former counsellor, received his high-risk rating both from the state and Hawley based on his refusal to acknowledge that he did commit a sex crime, previous allegations of inappropriate behavior and a history of alcohol abuse.

However, Hawley said, it is unlikely that Jolley would commit a sex crime outside of a counseling situation and probably not in his new neighborhood.

"As a threat to this particular neighborhood, I would say no," Hawley said.

Still, the Level 3 designation stands. Hawley said Jolley will be prohibited from returning to practice as a counsellor, from drinking alcohol and from being in the company of girls between the ages of 14 and 18. The latter prohibition, Hawley said, stems from Jolley's trial last year, when the jury that convicted him for indecent liberties was unable to come to a consensus on a rape charge filed on behalf of a 15-year-old former patient.

Violating any of the conditions set for his release from prison could send him back. Hawley said if neighbors even see him with a beer can in his hand they should call 911.

Several people at the meeting were incredulous of the prohibitions and Jolley's rating. Greg Gilles, a friend of Jolley's, said the 59-year-old parolee is not at risk to drink alcohol. He said he had worked with Jolley as an unofficial monitor for three and a half years to help control his alcohol problem. In that time, Gilles said, Jolley was clean and sober.

One of Jolley's former neighbors, Elaine Poage, disagreed with that assessment.

"We have seen him drunk," she said.

Other questions to Hawley and Jolley's corrections officer, Rob Diekman, concerned the length of time Jolley will be under community corrections supervision and what he will do while living on South Whidbey. Diekman said Jolley has a job and is currently living with a family on Drummuir Road as he starts a 36-month supervision period.

"Mr. Jolley is fortunate to have the support he does," Diekman said.

Jolley's sex offender rating could be reduced in the future if he undergoes evaluation and treatment for sexual deviancy. He will be required to register with law enforcement as a sex offender wherever he lives for at least the next decade.

Hawley said Jolley is one of about half a dozen Level 3 offenders in the county. In all, there are about 80 sex offenders in Island County. Statewide, about 13,000 registered sex offenders live in Washington communities.

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