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Ferndale man pleads guilty to rape of a child and sentenced

FERNDALE, Wash. — Dalton Jacob Cristelli, age 23, was arrested by Ferndale Police on May 30, 2019, and charged with suspicion of 2nd degree rape, 3rd degree rape and 3rd degree rape of a child. He was released from custody on June 4, 2019, after posting a $50,000 bond.

On June 16th, Cristelli was sentenced in Whatcom County Superior Court after pleading guilty to 1 count of 3rd degree rape of a child. According to court documents, he was sentenced to 6 months in custody followed by 3 years of community custody.

The other 2 rape charges and additional charges of harassment, 4th degree assault, unlawful imprisonment were dismissed.

According to a pre-sentence investigation prepared by the Washington State Department of Corrections and filed in the court, Cristelli’s arrest came after an ex-girlfriend told a Ferndale High School staff person that Cristelli had sexually assaulted her in 2017. The ex-girlfriend also expressed concern for a 15-year-old female friend. When contacted by investigators, the 15-year-old said they had sexual relations. Another ex-girlfriend said she had been sexually assaulted and a current girlfriend accused him of domestic violence.

The charge resulted from sexual relations with the 15-year-old female when he was 19, within the definition of the crime where the victim is older than 14 but less than 16 years old and the assailant is 4 or more years older than the victim. Cristelli maintained his innocence regarding to the other rape, assault and imprisonment charges according to a pre-sentence investigation.

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