A Kennewick man faces a life sentence for sexually assaulting a grade-school girl in 2011.
Gary Alan Bond, 61, pleaded guilty in Benton County Superior Court to one count of first-degree child molestation. His sentencing is set for Nov. 20.
The girl told her mother three years ago that Bond inappropriately touched her, and the case was investigated at the time, court documents said. However, no one knew Bond's whereabouts until late summer 2013, when Kennewick police learned he was back in the Tri-City area.
Bond is being held without bail in the Benton County jail.
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He initially also faced a charge of first-degree child rape. The reduced charge is appropriate because of Bond's age and his agreement to plead guilty to a life sentence, Deputy Prosecutor Anita Petra said in court documents.
The girl now lives in another state, but her family was prepared to fly her back for a trial.
However, the family agreed to the plea agreement so the girl did not have to testify, Petra wrote.
Bond faces from four years and three months to five years and eight months in prison.
The time ordered by the sentencing judge will be a mandatory minimum term since child molestation carries a maximum of life.
It will be up to the state Indeterminate Sentence Review Board to decide if Bond is ready to be released once he's done the ordered time.
Bond's criminal history includes a Richland conviction communicating with a minor for immoral purposes.