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[UNLOCKED] District Knew of Willis’ Domestic Violence Conviction + Record of Assault and Theft Charges
Mukilteo School District took former Kamiak coach Julian Willis at his word when he explained his criminal record. So they hired him.
According to law enforcement and judicial records exclusively obtained by J425, Julian Willis — the former Kamiak assistant football coach currently under investigation for felony sex crimes involving a minor student — didn’t enter the teaching profession with a clean record.
Nor, to his credit, did he try to hide that fact. He was straight up with district administrators and evidently offered a convincing explanation.
A Mukilteo School District spokesperson told J425 that the district was aware of Willis’ priors, which included a domestic violence conviction as well as theft and assault charges, among others. They were aware because Willis volunteered information about his record (a duty that is required by law but not always followed) during the hiring process.
The district accepted Willis at his word that the violations were the result of youthful indiscretions.
And true enough, Willis stayed clear of the law between 2009 and the current felony sexual misconduct probe which cost him his job May 22 - (at least in this state).
His escalating run of charges did cost him his second amendment rights — for over a decade — and if he hadn’t bargained DV Assault charges carrying a $15,000 bond into a clever plea deal, he likely would’ve faced the automatic conversion of his multiple existing deferrals into default guilty judgements resulting in the prospect of considerable prison time and hefty fines.
J425 recently obtained a considerable amount of Willis’ court and law enforcement records — including 2022 docs showing Willis’ successful efforts to regain his firearm rights. As a result, we can exclusively show you how the man facing multiple felony sex crime charges involving a minor student both compiled the aforementioned record — and still managed to get a job around kids despite it.
A Record of Thefts, Harassment and DV
Willis had an arrest and a series of somewhat minor run-ins with the law in his post high school years.
What began with a few thefts from big box stores escalated into more serious charges including domestic violence and assault.
At one point Willis appeared likely to do some considerable jail time – he was free on a sizeable $15,000 bond facing domestic violence charges including assault and harassment.
Worse yet, the DV charges threatened to scuttle a couple theft deferrals Willis had arranged the year prior.
Most deferrals are set to roll over to guilty if new charges occur during a seven year window.
So needless to say Willis had to do some fancy footwork to deal with the DV charges in a manner that wouldn’t trigger jail and fine conditions from his deferral.
Trading Second Amendment Rights for Freedom
Ultimately, Willis ended up pleading guilty to a domestic violence charge in order to avoid jail time.
On the downside, he had to eat a domestic violence charge (he pled to disorderly conduct with a DV designation) and was forced to surrender his second amendment rights.
On the plus side, there’d be no jail time and no felonies.
Willis largely lived up to his conditions – although he was once jailed for a couple days for delinquencies and missed court dates – but ultimately he put those charges behind him and was even able to explain away what is ordinarily a red flag for districts - a DV conviction.
How does this relate to Willis sexual misconduct?
Only inasmuch as those with a conviction record are much more likely to offend than those who aren't. But it’s hard to argue with Mukilteo SD wanting to think the best of a 33 year old man with a clean record since a misdemeanor charge dating back to his teenage years.
Summarizing Willis’ Record
In 2009, Julian Willis pled guilty to disorderly conduct – in a deal designed to keep him out of jail.
The deal amended an assault charge and avoided triggering full guilt conditions from two prior shoplifting charges that Willis had deferred.
2007 - Willis, 18, was caught stealing from Walmart in September and arrested for theft at Best Buy in December.
2008 - Willis was charged with DV-Assault, harassment and disorderly conduct, $15,000 bail.
2009 - Plea agreement amended the assault and pled out to DV disorderly conduct in a deal that made Willis a prohibited firearm possessor – but kept him out of jail.
2022 - Willis successfully petitions to reinstate his Second Amendment rights.
2023 - Willis under investigation for felony sex crimes against a minor.
Up next in this series:
J425 Explores a Reoccurring Theme in the Willis Matter: Kamiak Football.
Julian Willis met his victim through the Kamiak football program: Willis was an assistant coach & the victim was a volunteer.
As it turns out, football played a big role in the beginning and the ending of the five month episode of alleged sexual misconduct:
The 2022 Kamiak football coach responsible for hiring and supervising assistant football coach Julian Willis is now an administrator at Kamiak and played a central role in starting the Willis probe.
The former head coach — Bryant Thomas — is now Dean of Students.
Thomas took the anonymous complaint starting the Willis probe March 31.
Early on after the initial tip — and before detectives — arrived Thomas produced a student football player, suggesting to an on campus police officer that the student knew about the Willis matter.
When the football player stayed silent, it was once again Bryant Thomas who produced the name of the victim.
J425 looks at the connections and considers what - if anything - these associations mean.