Defendant Accused of Sexually Assaulting Teenage Girl Rejects Plea Offer

A defense attorney in a child sex abuse case requested a preliminary hearing after the defendant rejected a plea offer. 

The defendant is accused of molesting a 14-year-old girl at a Washington Highlands residence in 2020. The victim fled the 63-year-old defendant after the alleged incident and immediately notified another adult in the home, according to court documents.

The defendant was arrested after an interview with officers and charged with second-degree child sex abuse. He was released to the High Intensity Supervision Program in July.  

During a March 7 hearing, the defendant appeared alarmed by the prosecution’s offer to plead him out on a misdemeanor sexual abuse of a child or minor charge. Defense attorney Joseph Yarbough interrupted his client before he could get a sentence out, reminding him to answer the question directly since he is still on the record. The plea offer was declined.

Judge Maribeth Raffinan scheduled the preliminary hearing for April 4. She denied the defense’s request to relax his release conditions.