An Oak Harbor man convicted of exposing himself to a teenager at a yard sale last summer was recently sent to prison.
A jury found Jeffrey D. Conaway, 39, guilty of indecent exposure with sexual motivation at a trial earlier this year. The charge was a felony — with the possibility of prison instead of jail time — because Conaway was previously convicted of the same charge in a different case.
At a sentencing hearing last Friday, Island County Superior Court Judge Alan Hancock handed Conaway the maximum sentence of 21 months in prison.
Deputy Prosecutor Michael Safstrom argued that Conaway should receive the maximum sentence because the case involved a “particularly egregious example of indecent exposure.” He said Conaway cornered the 17-year-old girl and exposed himself over a prolonged period of time.
The victim was terrified, Safstrom said, and feared she was going to be raped.
On the other side, Conaway’s mother argued that the victim wasn’t an innocent child — and, therefore, couldn’t be traumatized — since she goes to Oak Harbor schools, where “sex, low morals and drugs” are pervasive.
Hancock questioned her about making such assumptions, but the woman repeated her statement that nowadays the world “is far uglier than it used to be.”
Conaway’s attorney, Matt Montoya, and his fiancee asked the judge to delay the sentence so that Conaway could finish two jobs he was in the middle of. Montoya explained that his client started a thriving business last year and is a hard worker. Conaway’s fiancee said she will lose her home if he’s not able to finish the jobs and help her financially.
Hancock, however, followed the prosecutor’s recommendation. The sentence consists of a mandatory 12-month sentence because the jury found the crime was committed with sexual motivation, plus nine more months under the standard sentencing range of three to nine months. The judge refused to delay the sentence and Conaway was taken into custody.
The question of possible restitution was reserved for a later date. Conaway will have to register as a sex offender when he returns from prison.