Lewis County Sheriff's Office

A 74-year-old Onalaska man accused of sexually abusing two girls about two years ago made his preliminary appearance in Lewis County Superior Court on Monday.

The man was charged with third-degree rape of a child, first-degree child molestation, first-degree incest and second-degree incest.

The Chronicle is not naming the suspect in an effort to protect the identities of the victims.

Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Will Halstead requested that bail be set at $100,000 per victim for a total of $200,000, and also asked for sexual assault protection orders to be imposed to prevent the man from contacting the alleged victims.

The man’s attorney for the day, Rachael Tiller, requested bail be set at $50,000 unsecured, noting that he has no criminal history in the state of Washington and suffers from a number of health issues.

“(The defendant) made it very clear he is not around any minors at this time,” Tiller added.

Judge James Lawler sided with the defense and set bail at $50,000 unsecured due to the allegations being at least a year old. Unsecured bail allows a person to sign a promise to appear and be released without posting bail or a bond.

Lawler also issued the sexual assault protection orders for the alleged victims.

According to the probable cause report, on April 30 a Lewis County Sheriff’s Office detective followed up on a Child Protective Services referral where a 13-year-old girl, who was living with the suspect, reported that he had made sexual comments about her body and referred to her as a “sex toy.”

The girl participated in a forensic interview where she reported to the detective she had been sexually abused by the suspect two years ago when she was 11 years old.

After the girl’s mother learned of the disclosure, she asked her 16-year-old daughter if the suspect had done anything inappropriate to her, according to the report.

First in a note to her mother, and then in a forensic interview with the detective, the girl reported that the suspect had sexually abused her as well.

According to the report, she was 14 years old at the time of the alleged abuse.

When the detective contacted the suspect, he initially reported he had not touched the girls, but later admitted that he had touched them.

In the interview, the suspect reportedly claimed he touched the girl who was 14 years old “to show her what boys might try to do to her.”

Additionally, the suspect admitted to sexually abusing the girl who was 11 years old at the time of the alleged incident.

(2) comments


What is the most scary is he is 74 years old. I am not making excuses but rather think he did not just wake up one day and decide to molest children. If he is molesting kids at 74 he probably did it at 20, 35, 50. If he has no record then that means his victims have gone unreported for all these years.

I am one who believes in second chances for good people who make bad choices but when you target a child for sexual purposes there are no second chances. It will be interesting to see if this guy has a record for this. I firmly believe that child molesters should get life without parole. How many chances do they get to hurt a child?

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While what this person is reported to have done is awful, so is your argument that the Chronical should not report the facts as they are, but should proactively get involved and shape the narrative. That is wrong and not the purpose of the free press. I'm not sure why you're all freaked out over reporting and your very odd off topic deflections. What has been happening in more or less the same degree since the beginning of time. I mean you have faith in the Pope right?

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