When to Expect Charges in the Julian Willis and Mark Hein Investigations
New victims and investigations widen the Willis probe; Hein matter approaches two year horizon with former Lake Stevens coach still on administrative leave; Law firm asking questions of Mukilteo SD
EVERETT – A charging decision is imminent in the Mark Hein matter, according to a law enforcement source with knowledge of the case. However, charges are apparently not so close in the Julian Willis matter.
Willis, suspected by investigators of committing five felony sex crimes against a minor student at Kamiak High School, remains in the Lake Stevens area, free without charges or conditions of release, as prosecutors sort through a backlog of some 6,600 criminal charging decisions that predate the Willis matter. Willis approached his alleged victim through his role as an assistant football coach with the 2022 edition of the Kamiak High School football team; the victim was a student volunteer with the team.
And unlike Hein, whose gross misdemeanor charges fall under a two-year limitation and must be filed this calendar year, there is no such filing deadline for Willis as there is no statutory time limits on filing felony Sexual Misconduct with a Minor charges – so the forcing function impelling many Snohomish County charging decisions will not come into play in the Willis matter.
In other words, don’t hold your breath on those Willis charges. However: he’s far from clear. Stick with us for a complete update on new investigations and new victims coming forward in the Willis matter.
Updating the Mark Hein Matter
J425 can confirm that administrative and criminal investigations of the Hein matter continue with a law enforcement source telling J425 a charging decision is on the near horizon.
Hein, a Lake Stevens High School teacher and former LSHS basketball coach was arrested and booked into county jail in January 2023 after a Lake Stevens Police Department investigation yielded charges of Sexual Misconduct with a Minor, Assault 4 with Sexual Motivation and Communication with a Minor for Immoral Purposes.
Hein was arrested and charged on January 25, 2023 but the charges were dropped in a matter of days, with police insisting charges would be refiled at a later date. At the time of this report – the matter remains open and Hein remains on administrative leave from the Lake Stevens School District - a position Hein has occupied since LSSD placed him on leave August 15, 2022 -- the day LSPD interviewed him as part of their criminal probe.1
LSPD Detective Kristin Parnell’s wide-ranging investigation of the Hein matter began in June of 2022 and continues even as prosecutors mull a charging decision. Parnell has interviewed dozens of students and staff – including Hein – and subpoenaed troves of documents.2
Washington State law requires prosecutors to charge gross misdemeanors within two years of the date of the crime – and although a specific date isn’t stated in the charging narrative written by Detective Parnell, the probable cause packet lists a date of crime “on or around” November 4, 2021.
That said, it is clear that some of Hein’s behavior detailed in the probable cause narrative occurred in October and possibly September of 2021 - meaning that that the two year horizon is approaching quickly.
J425 has learned that an extreme case backlog at the Snohomish County Prosecutor's Office has contributed to the last-second charging decision in the Hein matter. More on that momentarily.
Updating the Julian Willis Matter
The backlog of criminal referrals at the Snohomish County Prosecutor's Office mentioned above is likely the reason Julian Willis remains free and uncharged at the moment, despite the fact that investigators believe Willis committed five felony sex crimes against a minor girl and that his latest suspected crimes come against the backdrop of new victims coming forward and details of rape allegations across the Western US surfacing in court documents.
Willis was arrested in Lake Stevens on June 29 after a Mukilteo investigation found evidence that Willis committed five felony sex crimes against a minor. Willis was arrested and booked into county jail before facing a judge the next day. In court, investigators detailed DNA evidence they say links Willis to the crimes.
The detective who investigated Willis said that Willis was both an imminent risk to society and a flight risk, stating that Willis has previously fled rape charges in three states. Court filings say police investigated rape allegations in Idaho after a family friend told police she’d been raped by Willis on multiple occasions. Willis allegedly fled similar allegations in Arizona.
Further, detectives told the court they’d located a Washington woman who said she’d been sexually assaulted by Willis while she was undergoing inpatient recovery at an area treatment center where Willis briefly worked. Police confirmed that the victim told management at the care facility about the alleged rapes, but management declined to inform authorities.
The judge found probable cause for the felony charges and placed a short-term hold on Willis, requiring him to post bond, surrender weapons and agree to certain conditions regarding school property and children.
Those conditions expired on July 5 when prosecutors failed to file charges before the end of the hold, and Willis remains free without charges or conditions of release. Willis has recently been seen in the Lake Stevens area near the location where he
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to The Journal 425 to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.