An Olympia, Washington man who walked into the Lacey Department Police Station in 2017 and told police he was a “predator” of two minors in Washington State and a victim in Duncan 10 years after the crimes in Stephens County happened received a formal sentencing July 1.
District Judge Ken Graham handed down the sentence which sided with the State, placing Bob Nathaniel Covington, now 33, in Oklahoma Department of Corrections custody for 30 years for rape in the first degree with a victim under 14 and 20 years for forcible oral sodomy with a victim under 16. Judge Graham said Covington will serve the time concurrently and he must serve at least 85 percent before becoming eligible for parole. This coincides with charges from Washington State where Covington received a conviction including charges related to third degree rape of a child and first degree incest.
During the statement from the victim in Stephens County, Judge Graham and the defendant heard about the trials the victim has experienced since the crime occurred years ago. The victim said quality of life had been diminished along with the concern for the future, “but mostly you took away my innocence.”
“You already knew that,” the victim read from the statement. “I can still remember word for word what you said to me about taking my innocence. That tells me that you knew it was wrong and disgusting. My innocence was something worth protecting, something that shouldn’t have been tainted by you, or anyone.”
Later in the Victim Impact Statement, the victim told Covington: “Now I realize I’m not your victim anymore. Now you are your own victim. You have ruined your own life. Now I get to live and enjoy mine. I do not forgive you, but I will forget you.”
The State, represented by Assistant District Attorney Cortnie Siess, highlighted that Covington took away the victim’s innocence and was at least 10 years older than the victim at the time of the crime.
Siess said the victim was “broken and was broken at an early age” by the defendant, and focused on what brought Covington, the victim and the judge to the courtroom for sentencing.
“The defendant walked into the Lacey Police Department in Washington State … He spoke with Washington detectives about two other minor children,” Siess said.
Siess also argued words Covington used to describe himself when he turned himself into Washington State law enforcement as alarming. Covington used words describing his crimes as “grooming” and “teaching” the victims.
“I believe at one point, Judge, that he called himself a predator — and that’s exactly what he is,” Siess said. “He walked into the Lacey Police Department 10 years later with two other victims under his belt. He’s opportunistic, he’s manipulative and he is a predator.”
In Washington, Covington is eligible for parole in 2022. Siess said simply that “was not enough.”
Siess asked for the maximum sentencing for both counts to prevent “what he could do if he was let out on the streets.”
Attorney Ron Williams, representing Covington, clarified the use of the language during the interview with police in Washington and noted Covington served in the U.S. military and had spent two tours in Afghanistan.
“Mr. Covington turned himself in,” Williams said. “He had been seeking treatment for this sexual deviancy. I’ve spoken with Mr. Covington in detail about the language that was coming out in the interviews and the pre-sentencing report in the State of Washington. Mr. Covington advised me that these were words he was learning through treatment he was receiving. We’re not excusing any of the way he spoke with the detectives but I think there needed to be a clarification in court.”
Williams asked for 15 years on both counts.
“Mr. Covington never intended for this to go trial,” Williams said. “He didn’t want to put (the victim) through anymore suffering.”
Judge Graham said the defendant hearing and learning words from a psychologist about what he was doing meant “absolutely zero.”
“Predation, predator — that’s what it is,” Graham said, noting the time served in the military also didn’t mean anything. “That’s the only time those little girls in Washington were safe.”
Graham said charges from Washington included two counts of third degree rape of a child and two counts of first degree incest, among two other charges related to sexual predation.
“I can’t believe he’s getting three years of community sentencing,” Graham said.
The victim clutched hands with a family member and wept as the sentencing was read aloud. Sentencing for Covington included the concurrent serving for count one, 30 years, and count two, 20 years, in Oklahoma. Graham said these counts will run concurrently with sentencing in Washington and will include time Covington has spent in county jail.
“I want you to stay away from and have no contact with any — ANY — of your victims,” Graham said after handing down the sentencing.
Covington’s final request included writing the Duncan victim a letter containing an apology. The victim sat in the rows of the courtroom, shaking to signal “no.” Siess began to tell the judge the victim didn’t want the letter, but Graham saw quickly the victim had no interest in any further contact.
“I don’t think (the victim) wants to hear from you,” Graham said.
Sentencing also included a $1,500 fine for each count and a $500 VCA for each count. Covington will also be subject to sexual offender registration laws in Oklahoma and will, upon release, be subject to supervision from DOC. Covington and his attorney elected for him to remain in the Stephens County Jail for 10 days before transport to his place of confinement.