A Kennewick man admitted impregnating a young teen girl after having sex with her for at least two years.
Christopher M. Kaauwai, 32, faces a maximum life sentence in prison for sex crimes.
He pleaded guilty in Benton County Superior Court to two counts of second-degree rape of a child and one count of third-degree rape of a child.
All of the charges include aggravating circumstances that he used a position of trust to commit the crimes. The third-degree rape charge also includes an allegation of deliberate cruelty because it resulted in the pregnancy of a child rape victim, court documents said.
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A fourth charge, for third-degree rape of a child, was dismissed as part of plea negotiations.
He is held without bail in the Benton County jail. The state Department of Corrections is working on a presentencing report, and his next court hearing is Nov. 19.
Kennewick police were called May 3 after the girl's mother took her daughter to a doctor's office and got confirmation that she was pregnant. The girl initially tried to name someone else, then became upset and told her mother it was Kaauwai, court documents said.
He was arrested that day and, when contacted by police, said "he believed he knew what was going on," documents said. He reportedly had told the girl to lie about it being someone else's baby.
The girl told investigators that Kaauwai first started inappropriately touching her in 2011 and the assaults escalated. Kaauwai allegedly tried to encourage the girl to end the pregnancy, but she did not.
Kaauwai reportedly has sent letters from jail to the girl's family while awaiting trial. Deputy Prosecutor Laurel Whittier said as part of plea negotiations, no charges will be filed for that.
Kaauwai had been ordered to have no contact with the girl and, as a result of his guilty plea, could be told to stay away from her for the rest of his life.
At sentencing, Whittier will recommend an exceptional sentence of 18 years in prison because of the aggravating factors. The time ordered by the sentencing judge will be a mandatory minimum term since second-degree rape of a child carries a life sentence. The state Indeterminate Sentence Review Board will decide if Kaauwai is ready to be released once he's done the ordered time.
Kaauwai also will have to register as a sex offender.
-- Kristin M. Kraemer: 509-582-1531; email@example.com; Twitter: @KristinMKraemer