KENNEWICK -- A Richland man who sexually assaulted a toddler on several occasions will spend a year in jail under a treatment program.
Judge Craig Matheson granted the Special Sex Offender Sentencing Alternative for Kenneth Michael Reynolds, but warned the 25-year-old man that if he violates any of the conditions, he will serve the remainder of his suspended sentence -- four years and eight months.
And if that happens, Reynolds could be looking at life behind bars becausefirst-degree child molestation is an indeterminate sentence that requires a state board to approve his eventual release.
Reynolds pleaded guilty in April to the child molestation charge. The alternative program includes shortened jail time -- which cannot be done on work crew or electronic home detention -- and up to five years of outpatient sex offender treatment.
Court documents show that between June 2009 and February 2011, Reynolds inappropriately touched the young girl and made the victim do the same to him.
The girl later disclosed the sexual contact to her mother with a special word she used to describe her genitals. The mother contacted police and the victim was interviewed by a sexual assault child advocate, documents said.
In a letter to the court, the girl's mother said it has been a difficult past couple of years. Her daughter's personality completely changed and it is only through weekly counseling appointments that she has been able to help control her nightmares, anxiety and anger, the mother said.
She added that she hopes her daughter can overcome these issues and "lead a healthy and normal childhood with no fear or no significant damage from the abuse."
The mother supported Reynolds' request for the special sentence, saying he needs treatment for himself and for "any possible future victims."
Reynolds was interviewed by a state community corrections officer for a presentencing investigation report. He told the Department of Corrections employee he wants counseling to "fix" this situation.
"I had no right to do that to her and I need help," Reynolds said, according to the report. "I know what I did was wrong and it will affect (the victim's) life. My actions have hurt a lot of people and I want to make it right."
* Kristin M. Kraemer: 509-582-1531; firstname.lastname@example.org