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Ong reconvicted for sexual assault

Steven Eugene Ong, 41, of Sequim, was reconvicted Friday, April 9, on charges of second-degree assault with a sexual motivation and fourth-degree assault.

Ong was retried after the Court of Appeals threw out an earlier conviction, finding as prejudicial the evidence admitted in the first trial of convictions for burglary and taking a motor vehicle.

After four days of trial with prosecuting attorney Deb Kelly and senior deputy Stormy Howell in Clallam County Superior Court, the jury deliberated for only an hour and 40 minutes before returning guilty verdicts. 

Ong was tried and sentenced to life without parole as a three-strikes offender in 2008, but his conviction was overturned on appeal.

Kelly will seek reimposition of the life sentence at Ong’s sentencing on April 20.

This second-degree assault conviction is his third strike, Kelly said.

Ong was charged with assaulting a woman near Railroad Bridge Park in Sequim on Memorial Day weekend in 2005.

Trial testimony says he approached a young woman while she and her toddler were sunbathing.

After asking for a cigarette, Ong tackled her and forcibly tried to remove her clothes. When the victim screamed, Ong grabbed the child and threatened to kill him. The woman fought with Ong, who then fled into the park. He was arrested seven hours later with citizen assistance.

“Defendant Ong’s prior convictions for the violent crimes of assault 2 and kidnapping required this office vigorously prosecute and reconvict this defendant for the public safety and well-being of this community,” Kelly said.

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