A Blaine man will spend at least 25 years in prison for sexually abusing multiple children over two decades.
Sergey Andreevich Kovalenko, 60, was sentenced July 12 in Whatcom County Superior Court to a minimum of 25 years in prison up to a maximum of life. Kovalenko was given an indeterminate sentence, which means he has to serve the 25 years in prison, but could be held for life, pending review by the Indeterminate Sentencing Review Board.
Once Kovalenko has served most of his time, the board will review his offenses, his behavior in prison and whether it would be safe to release him into the community. If not, he will remain in prison and be evaluated again at a later date. This can continue for the entirety of Kovalenko’s life as part of his indeterminate sentence.
If Kovalenko is released from prison, he will be on probation for life. He is also required to register as a sex offender for life, court records show.
As part of his sentencing, a sexual assault protection order was also put in place for life between Kovalenko and the children.
A Facebook post April 21 of one count of first-degree rape of a child, two counts of first-degree child molestation, five counts of second-degree child molestation and three counts of third-degree child molestation — 11 charges in all, according to court records.
In 2016, the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office began investigating Kovalenko for sexually assaulting multiple children known to him over a two-decade long period, the court records state.
The sheriff’s office’s investigation revealed that Kovalenko had sexually abused at least three girls from 1996 until 2016, the records state.
The three children ranged in age from five years old up to 15 years old. One of the girls said Kovalenko sexually assaulted her for more than a decade and that if she refused, he would threaten to hit her, the court records show.
In a pre-sentence investigation report done in late June by the Washington State Department of Corrections, Kovalenko allegedly told state corrections officials in an interview that he took the case to trial because he was not guilty of the crimes he was accused of. It’s also why Kovalenko didn’t accept a plea deal, the court records state.
Kovalenko allegedly told the officials that he was accused of the crimes because of a dispute he was having with one of the victims, records show. He also asked if he could pay a fine to be able to avoid prison time, the records state.
One of the women who came forward about Kovalenko’s abuse told state corrections officials that her childhood was “erased for someone’s stupid pleasure. Whether he sits five, ten, twenty, or life, it won’t change what happened. I reported this because I didn’t want him touching someone else.”
In a Facebook post, the Whatcom County Prosecuting Attorney’s office stated it had recommended Kovalenko serve a minimum of 26½ years in prison, but the judge ultimately decided to give Kovalenko a 25-year sentence.
“We hope this resolution provides some amount of solace for the survivors of this horrific abuse,” the prosecutor’s office’s post states.
▪ Brigid Collins Family Support Center: 360-734-4616, brigidcollins.org
▪ Child Protective Services: Washington state hotline for reporting child abuse and neglect, 866-829-2153.
▪ Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Services: 24-hour Help Line: 360-715-1563, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
▪ Lummi Victims of Crime: 360-312-2015.
▪ Tl’ils Ta’á’altha Victims of Crime: 360-325-3310 or nooksacktribe.org/departments/youth-family-services/tlils-taaaltha-victims-of-crime-program/
▪ Bellingham Police: You can call anonymously at 360-778-8611, or go online at cob.org/tips.
▪ WWU Consultation and Sexual Assault Support Survivor Advocacy Services: 360-650-3700 or wp.wwu.edu/sexualviolence/.