Crime

Kennewick teen accused of raping second child

A Kennewick teen convicted of raping a young girl earlier this year has been accused of sexually assaulting a second child.

Police say there could be more victims.

Kristofer Alan Putnam, 17, is charged in Benton County Superior Court with first-degree rape of a child for allegedly raping a grade school-age boy near an apartment complex where Putnam lived, said Kennewick police Sgt. Ken Lattin.

The second victim disclosed the alleged assault Aug. 20, and Putnam was charged last week, Lattin said. The boy did not know about allegations against Putnam from the first child, he added.

Investigators suspect the second student was sexually assaulted once by Putnam, but they also believe additional children might have been sexually abused by Putnam between 2004 and 2010, Lattin said.

Putnam lived at the Highlander Apartments, 3030 W. Fourth Ave., Kennewick, for several years.

"It's very likely that there were others and the parents just don't know about it," Lattin said. "We're kind of hoping parents will take this opportunity and use the resources available and have the parent-child talk to find out if anyone has done any inappropriate touching."

The young girl in the original case was repeatedly sexually assaulted from 2004 to 2007. She didn't report the abuse until this year because she said Putnam had threatened to kill her and throw her in the river, court documents said.

Putnam was charged in April and since has pleaded guilty to first-degree rape of a child. He admitted the sexual abuse and said "it's a horrible thing" to have done, but he claimed it only happened three times and denied threatening the victim, documents said.

He was sentenced to nine years in prison Aug. 27, a week after the second child came forward with new allegations.

The second reported victim recently told authorities that he was playing with some boys near the Kennewick apartment complex during summer 2005 when Putnam called him over behind some Dumpsters, according to court documents.

Putnam, who then was 12, grabbed the boy by the collar, pulled him back and covered his mouth so he couldn't speak, documents said.

Prosecutors allege Putnam sexually assaulted and raped the boy, who reportedly described it in detail for investigators.

Lattin said anyone with information about additional alleged victims living on or around the 3000 block of West Fourth Avenue should call Detective Bill Dramis at 582-1329.

Parents who suspect their child may have been a victim can get help talking to their child by contacting the Sexual Assault Response Center at 374-5391.

Parents also are asked not to pressure their children for details about the encounter if they disclose a sexual assault took place but to instead call police or SARC.

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