Kristin M. Kraemer, Tri-City Herald
A Kennewick man admitted that he propositioned a teen boy to perform sex acts, then asked people to get rid of evidence before police could search his home.
[Name Redacted] pleaded guilty in Benton County Superior Court to sexual exploitation of a minor, a felony, and tampering with physical evidence, a misdemeanor.
Sentencing is tentatively set for Dec. 20.
Community corrections officers first must complete a presentencing investigation, which includes [Name Redacted]’s background and a statement from the victim, because it is a sex crime. Deputy Prosecutor Anita Petra told the court that if she receives the report before that date, she will schedule an earlier hearing.
[Name Redacted] was arrested Oct. 8 by Kennewick police on the sexual exploitation charge and made an initial appearance in court the following day. He was ordered held without bail on a 72-hour investigative hold.
[Name Redacted], — arrested under the name [Name Redacted], — posted bond and was released from the jail at 9:45 p.m. Oct. 11.
He was at his Kennewick home when police picked him up on the tampering charge and booked him back into the jail at 12:26 p.m. Oct. 12. He appeared in Superior Court just 45 minutes later to enter pleas to the two charges.
The sexual exploitation stems from an Oct. 7 incident in which [Name Redacted] contacted the teen boy near Fourth Avenue and Olympia Street.
The boy said he had seen [Name Redacted], around the area, and [Name Redacted] asked if the teen wanted to make some money doing yard work, according to police and court documents. The boy said yes and agreed to go to the man’s home to see what needed to be done, documents said.
At some point, [Name Redacted], reportedly asked the boy about sex and if he’d be willing to have sex or perform sexual acts in front of a streaming web camera. [Name Redacted], offered to pay the boy $50 for each sex act on the webcam, and an additional $50 for each sexual contact he had with people off camera, court documents said.
The teen declined and was taken back to the parking lot where he met [Name Redacted], police said.
The boy claimed [Name Redacted] tried to grab his genitals, but he used a fist to knock away [Name Redacted],’s hand, documents said. The victim also told officers he was scared for his safety.
[Name Redacted] was behind bars when he called two people and told them to remove possible evidence from his house in case police executed a search warrant, both Petra and [Name Redacted] told the court at the time of his guilty plea.
[Name Redacted] had been in custody on $30,000, but now will be held without bail since he admitted to a sex crime.
He faces two years and seven months to three years and five months in prison for the sexual exploitation as charged, with up to a year in jail on the tampering.
However, his lawyer, Christine Bennett, told the court that the plea agreement included an exceptional sentence below the standard range at one year and four months in prison.
[At trial, additional charges would have been added which would have increased his range to a possible life sentence.]