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Prosecutors say Julian Willis is a threat to the public and a flight risk who fled rape allegations in three states - and yet he's free on bond in Lake Stevens
J425 exclusives includes specifics on the fired Kamiak football coach's conditions of release, updates on DNA testing, details on 5 previously unreported rape allegations + a key July 5 deadline
Julian Willis poses a significant threat to the public, particularly against those in vulnerable environments, given the historical extent of his predatory behavior and his blatant disregard for the rule of law.
- Detective Eric Ofori, Mukilteo Police Department
SNOHOMISH COUNTY COURTHOUSE —Prosecutors say Julian Willis is a “threat to the public”, a flight risk, and a named suspect who fled rape charges in at least three states.
They say he’s a likely match for the DNA samples taken from Kamiak classrooms, which in turn tie Willis to stains on the carpet, where the 33-year-old fired coach and substitute allegedly slopped his bodily fluids onto the floor, while committing sex crimes against an underage Kamiak student.
“Julian Willis poses a significant threat to the public, particularly against those in vulnerable environments, given the historical extent of his predatory behavior and his blatant disregard for the rule of law,” said Mukilteo Police Department Detective Eric Ofori, who asked the court to impose a $100,000 bond on Willis.
Court documents further outline at least five previously unreported rape allegations …and reference J425 reporting that details Willis’ victimizing two underage Lake Stevens girls, an event Ofori describes as the “hubristic pursuit of a juvenile female in Lake Stevens, despite his knowledge of an ongoing sexual misconduct investigation.”
And despite all of that, Julian Willis is currently out on $7500 cash bail, residing in Lake Stevens, with bail with conditions that don’t even bar him from approaching an underage girl in a grocery store — like he did in Lake Stevens on Father’s Day.
The Arrest and Arraignment
Julian Willis was arraigned in Everett Friday after his arrest on felony minor-involved sex crimes June 29 in Lake Stevens.
A judge found probable cause backing all five felony sexual misconduct charges Friday in Everett, but dismissed the misdemeanor communicating with a minor charge for lack of evidence.
The five felony minor-involved sex crimes carry a total possible prison time of 25 years, $125,000 in fines and mandatory lifetime sex offender registry.
Prosecutors asked the court to hold Willis on a $100,000 bond, describing Willis as a flight risk and a “danger to the community” with a record of dodging rape charges in Idaho, Arizona and previously in Washington.
Investigators compiled a damning stack of evidence backing up their assertion that the former coach and teacher committed five felony counts of first degree sexual misconduct during his pursuit of an underage student that he preyed on from his role as a Kamiak football coach and substitute teacher.
The Bail Conditions
The court set a $7500 cash bail and imposed most of the conditions sought by the prosecutor.
Willis posted a $7500 cash bail and was released from County lockup late Saturday with conditions of release that prevent him from attending any school or sporting events or showing up at any of his children’s events without direct supervision of his wife.
Willis is barred by a no contact order from contacting his Mukilteo victim. Further, Willis is ordered to surrender his weapons immediately. J425 previously reported that Willis went to great lengths to regain his firearm rights in 2022.
Glaringly, the conditions of release do not specifically bar Willis from contacting underage girls in person or on social media. J425 exclusively reported that Willis approached and followed a 16-year-old Lake Stevens girl around Haggen Father’s Day Morning, attempting to speak to her five times before following her in his car to her next stop.
This incident was detailed in court documents filed Friday. J425 can also confirm that Willis has contacted underage Lake Stevens girls on social media in the recent weeks.
Caught Up By Chromosomes - the DNA Report is in
At the top of the evidentiary stack: DNA results processed after investigators obtained warrants to seize the classroom carpets underneath areas where Willis had reportedly left bodily fluids. Detectives rolled up the carpets and shipped them off to the Washington State Patrol Crime Laboratory.
On Monday, detectives learned that Willis was a likely match for the DNA sample, and arrest warrants were prepared.
In addition to the likely DNA match, J425 can exclusively confirm a mountain of new information regarding the Willis case.
We will unpack this in the coming days, but this morning we will provide you with the topline bullet points.
A July 5 Fish-or-Cut-Bait Filing Deadline Looms
Notably, the cash bail and all conditions of release expire at 5:00 pm tomorrow July 5, unless prosecutors complete the charging process.
Contrary to earlier reports, prosecutors didn’t level charges Friday, instead seeking Willis’ detainment while they completed documentation.
Given the amount of time and detail provided in the probable cause documents, it seems highly likely charges will be filed by the deadline. We will keep you posted.
Old Reports Surface, New Accusations Continue to Flood In
J425 has previously published the reports of two different 16-year-old Lake Stevens girls victimized by Willis. Investigators told the court of numerous additional allegations Friday.
In one instance, a victim contacted Mukilteo police after reading published accounts of Willis’ criminality: she’d been raped by Willis when he took advantage of his role as a professional care provider.
In Idaho Falls, detectives documented two 2019 rape accusations naming Willis that they were unable to successfully charge.
In one instance, a woman reported that she believed she‘d been drugged, blacking out before suddenly regaining consciousness with Willis on top of her in the middle of the night.
A “Danger to the Community” with rape allegations across the Western US
Prosecutors told the court that Willis is both a flight risk and a danger to the community, citing his previous behavior and revealing, for the first time, that Willis faced rape allegations in three states.
“The suspect has a history of fleeing and relocating whenever he engages in questionable behavior with a remote chance of criminal prosecution. He fled WA in 2013 for sexual misconduct allegations, fled Idaho for rape allegations and fled similar allegations in Arizona,” prosecutors wrote Friday.
Written Up for Harassment One Day, Hired as a Substitute the Next
J425 has previously reported that the district was aware of Willis’ record — which included domestic violence, assault, multiple theft charges and more — when they initially hired him as a coach. According to court documents, we’re finding out that Willis began his career as a substitute teacher in last December.
That’s three months after he first met the victim, two months after coaches and players noticed signs of an improper relationship1…and one day after the school district wrote Willis up for harassing a student.
Court documents state that Willis was approved by MSD as an “emergency substitute” on December 7, 2022. That’s just one day after Willis was written up for harassment, after he was caught hitting on a student as she exited a bathroom.
The Lynnwood Times was first to report the student complaint filed December 1, 2022. The Times reported that “Willis made a female student feel uncomfortable, complimenting her on her appearance as she left the bathroom.”
The student complained to administration and on December 6, Willis was written up, with the district directing Willis to “not engage students in a way that could be perceived as harassment and to not make any comments about a student or staff’s visual appearance,” as per board policy 5026 and 5025.
“Kamiak High School and the Mukilteo School District is committed to maintaining a safe environment for all our staff and students. We take any and all complaints about harassment or sexual misconduct very seriously,” the December 6 disciplinary report against Willis read.
And apparently they gave him access to the campus, students and those portables the very next day.
Up Next in J425’s Ongoing Investigation:
Who blew the whistle on Willis…an unnamed “community member”…or was it a prominent football coach?
And what about that “jealous” staff member who witnessed the victim and Willis together several times?
J425 explores two issues tied to Kamiak High School in reports to be published tomorrow and Wednesday.
First, we take a closer look at the discrepancy in initial reports. The district’s official statement said the Willis investigation came from an unnamed community member. The district was likely just passing on the information provided by Bryant Thomas, who — in their April report — police described as stating that a community member had surfaced the tip as well.
However on Friday, detectives detailed how their investigation revealed that it was not an anonymous external community member who filed the original Willis complaint. Instead, it was an assistant football coach who provided Bryant with the information. And according to investigators, the assistant coach first heard of Willis’ misconduct in November. J425 will attempt to unpack how and why an assistant coach who’d learned of the misconduct in November was described to the public as an unnamed “community member”. To what end does this materially misleading information serve?
Second, in initial reports, the victim described a female staff member present around both the victim and Willis. The victim said this staff member acted jealously and interjected herself between the victim and Willis. Was this an adult seeking to shield the victim from Willis? Or was it something else? And if the two Kamiak staff members and the student were together, what were those interactions like?