Rape charges leveled against Orcas man in aftermath of alleged assault

An Orcas Island man accused of a violent attack on a live-in girlfriend is slated to stand trial in late September on seven criminal charges, including two counts of second-degree rape, a Class A felony.

On July 6, Frederick Elden Hardtke, 52, pleaded not guilty in San Juan County Superior Court to two counts of second-degree rape by force, two counts of second-degree assault with a deadly weapon, two counts of fourth-degree assault, a gross misdemeanor, and to one count of third-degree malicious mischief. Bail was set at $15,000, pending a Sept. 24 trial date.

According to court documents, prosecutors claim that Hardkte brutalized and threatened the woman with various firearms over a two-day period after an early afternoon dispute at their Eastsound home escalated into an altercation. Authorities allege that the threats and attack began after Hardtke, who reportedly was intoxicated at the time, snatched a cellphone out of the woman's hand, smashed it on the floor, and then grabbed and fiercely twisted one of her arms, while at the same time threatening her with a handgun.

Authorities claim that he continued to threaten the woman with firearms throughout the night and the following day, and sexually assaulted her twice within that time frame as well.

On the second day of the alleged attack, after Hardtke was lured away from the home by the woman's adult daughter, she notified authorities of the assault and was escorted from the home and to the Sheriff Department’s Eastsound office, where she gave a deputy a detailed account of the alleged attack. Hardtke was taken into custody July 27, shortly before noon, following a brief struggle with three deputies, in which he was subdued by a taser, outside his home, according to court records.

A Class A felony, second-degree rape by force carries maximum penalties of life in prison, a $50,000, or both. Assault in the second degree, a Class B felony, carries maximum penalties of 10 years in prison, a $20,000 fine, or both.

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