A Kennewick man has pleaded innocent to allegations that when he was 15, he sexually assaulted two young girls.
Thomas L. Barnes, now 21, is charged in Benton County Superior Court with two counts of first-degree child molestation. His trial is May 18.
Barnes was recently arrested for the crimes, which police said happend in 2008 and 2009. One of the girls only disclosed the alleged sexual contact to her mother in January.
Kennewick Officer Seth Reil met with the girl’s mother, then had the girl talk to a child-victim advocate to determine what happened, court documents said.
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The grade-school girl claims Barnes would make her watch pornography with him and removed her clothes, documents said. She said she would fight him and scream for help.
A preschool-aged girl told investigators that she became upset and scared, and had to leave when Barnes was trying to have sexual contact with her, court documents said.
Barnes met with police on April 6 and admitted touching the girls in a sexual manner, documents said. He allegedly said it happened more often with one girl because she appeared “more willing like she wasn’t against it.”
Barnes initially was held on $30,000 bail, but Judge Robert Swisher approved his release from jail on his personal recognizance. Barnes has been ordered to have no contact with the girls while the case is pending.