Steven D. Stanbary allegedly molested and raped a girl who lived in his home over several years, starting when she was 9, according to police reports reviewed Wednesday.
The alleged abuse wasn’t uncovered until December 2010, when the girl, now a teenager, disclosed it to several people and later, a Washougal police detective. Her name and relationship to Stanbary were redacted in the report.
Senior Deputy Prosecutor Dustin Richardson, who heads the Children’s Justice Center, received police reports in January. Having concerns over certain aspects of the case, he didn’t believe he had strong enough evidence to charge Stanbary until late November.
Finally, he gave Washougal police the OK to allow Stanbary to turn himself in through his attorney on Dec. 8 on suspicion of first-degree rape of a child and first-degree child molestation.
“He obviously had different plans,” Richardson said Wednesday.
The day before, officials say, Stanbary set his Washougal house on fire, killed his wife, Leona Stanbary, and her twin sister, Mona Daugherty, and fired from numerous guns, keeping firefighters away, before killing himself.
Richardson said he and Washougal investigators had no idea before the standoff that Stanbary had a history of being heavily armed, schizophrenic, anti-government and violent.
“Had that been clear, the whole process of having an attorney turn him in … might have been different,” Richardson said Wednesday.
Richardson said he had a list of Stanbary’s criminal history, but it only included misdemeanors. Stanbary, who was accused of having numerous weapons and threatening to kill his family in 1994 in Idaho, had taken a plea deal to a minor assault. His only Washington conviction, disorderly conduct, occurred a decade ago.
Richardson expressed frustration about not knowing the extent of Stanbary’s history, but said it likely wouldn’t have affected the pace of the sex crimes investigation. Also, the deputy prosecutor said he didn’t have concerns over the girl being re-victimized because she no longer lived at the home. And there were no other minors living at the Stanbary home.
Police reports released Wednesday for viewing by The Columbian shed light on the sex crimes probe of Stanbary.
According to the reports, a Washougal investigator received a call from Child Protective Services about a possible sex crime. The detective responded to then-Southwest Washington Medical Center on Dec. 10, 2010, where the girl was about to be released for an unidentified medical problem. She alleged that Stanbary had molested her between 15 and 20 times; the last incident occurred about four years prior, according to police reports.
She said the abuse would happen at night when she was sleeping and that no one else at the home knew about it.
She had moved out of the Washougal home in late October 2010 and started living with her boyfriend in Vancouver. She told her boyfriend, who later told his mother, who alerted CPS, according to police reports. The boyfriend later told authorities Stanbary also beat the girl.
With her boyfriend by her side, the girl told Leona Stanbary in late 2010. In an interview with a Washougal detective, Leona Stanbary said she suspected the girl may have fabricated the abuse so she could live with her boyfriend.
“I’ll kill him if it happened,” Leona Stanbary told the detective, referring to Steven Stanbary, according to police reports.
Other witnesses said the girl wasn’t one to concoct an allegation like that. They placed the scrutiny on Stanbary.
The victim and her boyfriend, in separate interviews with police, described Steven Stanbary as a binge drinker who became nasty when he was inebriated. The girl said he drank every night.
“Sometimes he can be just one of those happy drunks,” the victim said in reports. “And other times, he can just be — he goes off. He becomes like belligerent and stuff.”
The victim’s boyfriend said when he was sober, Steven Stanbary seemed normal.
“When he’s not drinking, he’s a pretty cool guy,” the boyfriend said. But “he’s rude as hell when he’s been drinking.”
The girl told police that if questioned about the abuse Stanbary would deny it.
“He just acts like it never happened,” she said, according to the reports.
The Columbian on Wednesday did not review all the police reports in the case; another batch of reports may be available Thursday. Richardson said Stanbary did not make a substantial statement relating to the case.
Laura McVicker: www.twitter.com/col_courts; www.facebook.com/reportermcvicker; firstname.lastname@example.org; 360-735-4516.