Man faces trial after extradition to Whidbey

A former South Whidbey man accused of sexual assault is scheduled to go to trial May 9, according to court records.

James Knott, 60, was extradited to Island County from Connecticut earlier this year, according to the Island County Sheriff’s Office. The court issued a warrant for his arrest after he left the state in 2015.

The sheriff’s office received a tip about Knott’s whereabouts earlier this year. Island County officials were able to get the warrant changed to allow for nationwide extradition, the sheriff’s office reported.

Police in Connecticut arrested Knott and sent him back to Island County. He’s being held in jail on a $50,000 warrant.

Prosecutors charged Knott in Island County Superior Court Nov. 24 with indecent liberties. The charges were filed with special allegations, specifically that the victim was “particularly vulnerable” and that he was in a position of trust.

Special allegations can increase the sentence.

Knott was the commander of the American Legion Post on South Whidbey when the incident occurred in December of 2014; he came into contact with the victim through the organization, according to a report by a deputy with the Island County Sheriff’s Office.

The woman told the South Whidbey Record that the American Legion has been very supportive of her and handled the situation appropriately.

A woman reported that she was sleeping on a couch and woke up to Knott sexually assaulting her, according to the report. Afterward, the woman and Knott exchanged text messages in which she tells him that she can no longer trust him because he touched her, saying that his actions were illegal. He apologized many times and asked for forgiveness, the deputy’s report states.

Knott resigned his post after the alleged assault, the report states. He told a detective that he thought his contact with the woman was consensual.