A Mesa man could face life in prison after being convicted of the attempted rape of a child asleep in her bed during a burglary, according to the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office.
Terry Michael Hoefler, 37, was found guilty Tuesday after a five-day trial in Franklin County Superior Court.
Hoefler is expected to be sentenced in late May for the attempted rape in north Franklin County. He potentially faces life in prison under Washington’s “three strikes” law, according to the sheriff’s office.
He attacked an 11-year-old in a home on an egg farm about six weeks after being released from state prison. He served time for attempting to elude police in Franklin County and possessing a controlled substance.
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The Level 3 sex offender registered in Mesa at the time of the July 22 attack and was considered highly likely to reoffend after a 1996 rape conviction involving a 23-year-old woman in Chelan County.
He previously pleaded guilty to the residential burglary at the farm.
According to court documents and police reports, Hoefler and a second man were driving on Glade North Road with a woman when Hoefler’s truck broke down in front of the victim’s house.
Hoefler was accused of entering the house through a door that wasn’t working properly.
Initially, the second man in the truck also was accused of burglary and arrested, but investigators determined he was not involved in the burglary or the attempted rape, said the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office. The woman in the truck also was not involved.
Hoefler left the truck for about two hours, the woman told officers.
Inside the house, the sleeping girl was carried from her bed to the living room, told to be quiet and had a bag put in her mouth, according to court documents. He started trying to remove her clothes and she finally was able to scream for help and woke up her relatives, who called 911 at 2:19 a.m. She was not hurt, said sheriff’s deputies.
When Hoefler returned to the truck, he wiped it down to get rid of fingerprints and said he’d been spotted by a girl, the woman in the truck told officers.
Hoefler was found several hours later when people called 911 to report a man hiding in an irrigation canal near Glade North Road, according to court documents. Officials said he was wearing a child’s skirt, and some items taken from the house were found in the ditch.