A Pierce County couple are facing charges related to allegations of child molestation occurring in Mineral several years ago.
A 37-year-old Graham man has been charged with three counts of third-degree child molestation — domestic violence, and three counts of second degree incest. Both charges are class C felonies.
A 36-year-old Graham woman was charged with witness tampering, also a class C felony.
The Chronicle is not naming the suspects in order to not inadvertently name the alleged victim.
Both defendants made their first appearances out of custody Tuesday in Lewis County Superior Court in response to summonses. They were allowed to remain out of custody on unsecured bail.
According to court documents, they were a married couple at the time of the allegations and charging papers show them living at the same address now.
In June 2019, law enforcement received a report of child molestation occurring in Mineral between Oct. 2015 and April 2017 involving an alleged victim between the ages of 14 and 16. The alleged victim reported that the male defendant, her stepfather, touched her in a sexual manner on a regular basis and talked with her about subjects of an overtly sexual nature, according to court documents.
“(He) also told the victim he considered her his true wife,” according to court documents.
According to state law, the statute for incest also includes sexual crimes by parents against adopted children or stepchildren.
The alleged victim also reported that she told her mother, the female defendant, about the abuse, but that her mother told her not to tell anyone and prohibited her from seeking counseling.