KENNEWICK — A 40-year-old woman was allegedly overpaid $8,000 by the state in medical and food benefits for claiming her two sons lived with her when one had moved in with his grandparents.
Stacey Ann Johnson pleaded innocent in Benton County Superior Court to first-degree theft.
Her trial is scheduled to start Feb. 13.
Johnson applied for financial benefits April 6, 2006, with the Washington Department of Social and Health Services. At the time, she said she was living with her two sons and reported no changes in at least 13 documents submitted through March 2009.
However, caseworkers with Child Protective Services allegedly discovered at some point that one of the boys had moved in with his grandparents in Lind because his mother "was frequently homeless," court documents said.
School records confirm the boy attended high school there in the 2006-07 year and show a home address with his grandparents, documents said. His records were transferred to Kiona-Benton City High School the next school year, when his grandparents moved to Benton City.
The boy lived with them until September 2009, when he moved back in with his mother, court documents said.
Prosecutors allege that with Johnson's misrepresentation in official documents, the state overpaid her $318 in financial aid, $4,880 in medical and $2,975 in food assistance.
Johnson is out of custody on her personal recognizance while the case is pending.
Benton City man jailed for first-,second-degree rape of child
BENTON CITY — A 60-year-old man is behind bars on $500,000 bail on allegations he sexually assaulted a girl for more than six years, grooming her to eventually have sex.
James Robert Wirrell of Benton City pleaded innocent to one count each of first- and second-degree rape of a child.
Both charges include the aggravating circumstance that he used his position of trust and that the crime was part of an ongoing pattern of sexual abuse.
Wirrell's trial is set for Jan. 3.
According to court documents, the abuse started in 2003 in another state. Wirrell initially inappropriately touched the grade-school girl, then it escalated to a sexual relationship when she was a pre-teen, documents said.
The alleged sexual abuse also occurred at various homes and motels in Benton County.
Prosecutors also claim that Wirrell would show child pornography on a portable DVD player to the girl, and buy her clothes and presents.
In an interview with detectives, Wirrell allegedly admitted to sexually assaulting the victim, along with another teen girl about 22 to 25 years ago, court documents said.
Sentencing delayed for ex-cop convicted of sexual exploitation
KENNEWICK — Sentencing for a former cop convicted of offering money and drugs to teen girls to watch him perform sex acts has been delayed a month.
A presentencing report in the case of Ryan Graichen, being done by a state community corrections officer, is not done yet.
The report is ordered in all felony sex crimes and is done to provide information on the case and the defendant's background for the judge to consider at sentencing.
Graichen, 35, pleaded guilty in October to seven charges for sexual exploitation of a minor and commercial sex abuse of a minor.
He approached the girls on two separate occasions in Columbia Park in 2010 and offered them money, alcohol and marijuana if they would go back to his house and be filmed while he masturbated. One of the offers also was for a girl to engage in sexual conduct for money.
A tentative sentencing date is set Dec. 15. However, Deputy Prosecutor Anita Petra said the hearing may be scheduled with a judge before that date if the report is submitted earlier.
The agreed recommendation is for a 10-year prison term.