KENNEWICK — A former Portland cop charged with sex crimes got out of jail Friday after a judge reduced his bail.
Superior Court Judge Craig Matheson said $250,000 bail for Ryan Graichen is again appropriate since allegations that the defendant had violated a no-contact order with a potential witness were unfounded.
Graichen, 35, had been in the Benton County jail since Feb. 3 after Matheson doubled his bail to $500,000.
His mother broke into tears and hugged family and friends seated next to her when the decision was announced.
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Graichen's family had come up with the resources and used their house as collateral to secure a bond on the initial $250,000 in January, but were unable to cover the amount when it was doubled just weeks later, said his attorney, Nicholas Jones.
Graichen had been locked up for 79 days as of Friday, his lawyer said.
Once the judge reduced the bail to the original amount, a representative from All City Bail Bonds in Kennewick told the court that Graichen's bond is "still active," which cleared the way for his immediate release from custody.
Graichen signed a document saying he will live with his parents in Klickitat County while the Benton County Superior Court case is pending.
Matheson reminded Graichen that the conditions of release and no-contact orders involving witnesses "are very serious business. It means you give everything in there a wide berth and you stay away from everybody involved in this case."
The judge added that he is allowing Graichen to live outside the Tri-Cities with his parents because they will give him "some supervision and added judgment" because they are at extra risk of losing their home if he doesn't comply with the orders and gets in trouble.
Graichen is charged with two counts of sexual exploitation and three counts of sexual abuse of a minor. His trial is May 16.
He is accused of approaching teenage girls in Columbia Park on two occasions last summer and offering them money, alcohol and marijuana if they would go back to his house and be filmed while he performed a sex act.
Kennewick detectives arrested Graichen in December after four girls reportedly identified him.
A search of his home led to the discovery of a binder with pictures of teen girls in bikinis and other more explicit photos, court documents said. Some of the girls appeared to be 15 to 16, documents said.
Graichen worked for the Portland Police Department from 1998 to 2007. He was on assignment as a school resource officer when he resigned while under investigation for filming high school girls at a school dance and basketball games.
His lawyer requested Friday's hearing following the results of a March jury trial in Benton County District Court. He accused prosecutors of being manipulative and trying to control a situation by "making allegations for the mere purpose of revocation of bail," and questioned why his client has not been charged with stalking in Superior Court if they are true.
Kennewick charged Graichen with violating anti-harassment orders when he drove by his former girlfriend -- a potential witness for the prosecution -- and waved at her.
The jury acquitted Graichen of the charges, which were part of the reason Matheson raised the bail in February.
"I didn't think he was exercising very good judgment with someone of his police background," Matheson said Friday, reminding him that even the appearance of a violation could land Graichen back in jail.
Deputy Prosecutor Anita Petra argued that Graichen is looking at 10 years in prison based on her plea offer for the sex crimes, so why should she now add a misdemeanor stalking charge.
She added that she has no control over how the cities might charge Graichen, and said the Kennewick case didn't address what happened at a Richland club two nights in a row in January when he smiled at his ex-girlfriend or acknowledged her presence.
The woman reportedly is concerned about her safety and had an anti-harassment order entered against Graichen in mid-January. One of her relatives reportedly tipped off police that Graichen was a possible suspect in the Columbia Park incidents after reading a story in the Tri-City Herald.
Jones explained that his client was "on an isolated island" since all of his "media-type devices" were seized by police. Graichen had no backup information to reach people so he went to a place where his friends have gone in the past, and was not aware his ex-girlfriend was there since he didn't see her car in the parking lot.
Once he realized that she was there, Graichen walked by her and left without trying to talk to her, Jones said. He again immediately left on the second night when he found out she was at the casino, he said.
Jones told the court that even though the Tri-Cities is a growing area, it is not difficult to run into people you know. Graichen did not violate his original conditions of release though "he may have gotten close, and I think Mr. Graichen would agree he put himself in a very bad position," he said.
Jones also noted that he thinks Graichen is overcharged based on the allegations in the sex crime case, but said "that's an argument for another time."