A serial rapist who terrorized Oak Harbor in the early 1990s has moved to Tacoma.
It appears doubtful that Paul Harell will return to Island County anytime soon because of the lack of treatment facilities and housing options, according to court documents.
The state Attorney General’s Office recently agreed to release Harell to a community-based “less-restrictive alternative,” which is housing outside of a secure facility. This will be the second time Harell has been released to community housing; his release was revoked last time after multiple violations.
The long and complicated case goes back to December of 1992, when Harell was a Navy man stationed at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island.
Harell broke into women’s homes and raped them at knife point. His last victim was a 17-year-old Oak Harbor girl. He was caught when he left his wallet behind after the victim’s sister attacked him with a fireplace poker.
Court papers document that Harell raped or sexually assaulted four women and two teenage girls by the time he was 22 years old.
Harell was convicted in Island County Superior Court in 1993 of rape in the first degree and two counts of second-degree rape with forcible compulsion. He was sentenced to just over 16 years in prison.