KENNEWICK — Former police officer Ryan Graichen could serve 10 years in prison after pleading guilty Monday to multiple sex crimes involving underage girls.
Two Kennewick police detectives who worked the case, Brian Pochert and Bill Dramis, were stopped by the former Portland cop as they walked by him to leave the courtroom at the end of the hearing Monday.
"I'm sorry," Graichen said. "I was one of you guys. ... I apologize to you guys for embarrassing the profession."
A trial was scheduled to start Monday in Benton County Superior Court before Graichen, 35, changed his plea.
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Under the plea deal, he admitted guilt on seven of eight charges, including two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and five counts of commercial sex abuse of a minor. The eighth charge of promoting commercial sexual abuse of a minor was dismissed, along with a separate case for felony stalking after he allegedly created two fictitious Facebook profiles so he could contact his ex-girlfriend.
Graichen pleaded guilty to approaching two girls in Columbia Park in summer 2010 and offering them money, alcohol and marijuana if they would go back to his house and be filmed while he masturbated.
Also in Columbia Park in May he requested that another girl engage in sexual conduct for money.
Last week, Deputy Prosecutor Anita Petra added charges based on information detectives found on Graichen's computer showing that he had paid a minor for sexual conduct.
His former girlfriend did not object to dropping the felony stalking case because of the length of time he is expected to be in prison, Petra said.
The prosecution is recommending he serve the maximum amount, 10 years, and Graichen agreed to that, Petra said.
Sentencing is set for Nov. 17.
The prosecution always has sought 10 years and was glad to reach an agreement because it would have been a difficult trial for the young victims, Petra said.
Graichen will be required to pay jury costs because of the late guilty plea, she said. His attorney, Nicholas Jones, had asked for a trial delay Friday, saying he had learned of new information that needed to be investigated. But Judge Cameron Mitchell denied the request and ordered the trial to start Monday.
Petra praised the detective work of Pochert and Dramis, including their work to identify a victim whose image was found on Graichen's computer.
Graichen worked for the Portland Police Department from 1998 to 2007, when he resigned amid an investigation for filming high school girls at a school dance and basketball games. Graichen, who was a school resource officer at the time, allegedly zoomed in on the girls' private areas. He was not charged with a crime in Portland.
-- Annette Cary: 582-1533; email@example.com