Crime

Ex-Portland cop charged with sex crimes back in jail

KENNEWICK — Three weeks after a former police officer charged with sex crimes made bail, a Benton County judge sent him back to jail for allegedly stalking a potential witness in the case who has an unrelated anti-harassment order against him.

Ryan Graichen, 35, and his mother broke into tears when Judge Craig Matheson revoked his bail and ordered him held on $500,000. He had been out of custody since Jan. 13 after posting bond on $250,000.

Matheson, who delayed his ruling a half-hour while he thought about the case, said "a former police officer should know better than to put himself in these situations. ... It could be stalking, and that's unacceptable in this situation."

Deputy Prosecutor Anita Petra had argued that Graichen is considered a predator and a threat to the community. His attorney, Nicholas Jones, said there is "no clear and convincing evidence" that his client willfully violated the order.

Graichen now faces a March 21 trial in Benton County Superior Court for two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and three counts of sexual abuse of a minor.

He worked for the Portland Police Department from 1998 to 2007, when he resigned amid an investigation for filming high school girls at a school dance and basketball games. Graichen, who was a school resource officer at the time, allegedly zoomed in on the girls' private areas, according to news service accounts.

An Oregon police policy panel later revoked his police certification for violating the state's moral fitness standards for law enforcement officers.

Graichen was arrested in December by Kennewick police after four girls identified him in connection with two separate incidents last summer in Columbia Park.

Police and court documents state that Graichen approached three teenage girls in the park June 13 and offered them each $300, alcohol and marijuana if they would go back to his house and be filmed while he performed a sex act.

In the second incident, he confronted a teen boy and girl June 15 and asked them if they were interested in going back to his home and putting on a show for him, documents said. He allegedly offered the girl $500 if she would watch him masturbate.

Investigators found a binder with pictures of teen girls in bikinis and other more explicit photos in a search of Graichen's home, documents said.

Petra first asked the court Jan. 27 to increase Graichen's bail to $350,000 or revoke it and send him back to jail. The court listened to initial arguments, then gave Jones a week to further prepare.

Petra said Graichen's former girlfriend, a potential witness for the prosecution, has an anti-harassment order against Graichen that was entered Jan. 14. A week later, she was at a Richland club two nights in a row when Graichen came in and smiled at her or acknowledged her presence. He also has driven by her Clearwater Avenue apartment and waved at her while she was outside, and visited her sister's workplace, Petra said.

The ex-girlfriend is "very concerned for her safety," especially since she might have to testify against Graichen in the sex crime case, Petra said. Her relative is the one who reportedly tipped off police to Graichen after reading a story in the Tri-City Herald.

Jones argued that the bar and the street outside the apartment complex are public places. "The state is trying to confine my client to a single place ... and never let him live his life," he said.

Jones further said that Graichen never made actual contact with the woman and left the club as soon as he realized she was there. He questioned why police were not called on any of those occasion.

"Orders allow a person to vacate a premises," Jones said. "... He's got ever incentive not to violate her (order)."

Graichen had recently moved to Lewis County to live with his father.

* Kristin M. Kraemer: 509-582-1531; kkraemer@tricityherald.com

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