Richland man gets 12 years for sex abuse

By Tyler Richardson, Tri-City HeraldNovember 14, 2013 

A 27-year-old man who sexually assaulted a grade-school girl and kept a video of her in a bathtub was sentenced to more than a decade in prison.

Cody Allen Evans of Richland was sentenced this week in Benton County Superior Court to 12 years to life.

Judge Vic VanderSchoor went above the standard range of eight to 10 years. Evans will serve at least 12 years before a review board determines if he can be released.

Evans -- who has no previous felony convictions -- pleaded guilty in September to two counts of first-degree child molestation and one count of depiction of a minor engaged in sexual misconduct.

The charges included the aggravating circumstances that Evans was in a position of trust when he committed the crimes.

"Based on those aggravating circumstances and the facts it was appropriate to go above the standard range," said Laurel Whittier, Benton County deputy prosecutor.

Evans told authorities he is sexually attracted to and had fantasies about prepubescent girls, according to court documents. He admitted to touching the victim and believed she "enjoyed it."

Evans had fantasies about the victim for about three years and watched the video of her bathing more than 14 times, according to court documents.

Whittier said the longer sentence will help the victim and her family move on with their lives, now that they know Evans will be behind bars for more than a decade.

"I think it's really important from a community safety perspective," she said. "It's really important somebody who commits an offense like this is kept out of the community for a substantially longer period of time."

Prosecutors believe the sexual abuse spanned at least a year, Whittier said. The victim first told her mother about the abuse in March and said it started in the summer of 2012.

The victim kept quiet about the abuse because she was scared and didn't want to worry her mother, according to court documents.

w Tyler Richardson: 582-1556; trichardson@tricityherald.com; Twitter: @Ty_richardson

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