Guilty pleas in child molestation, pornography

Court: Man abused 11-year-old, took pictures near school

jpawloski@theolympian.comSeptember 6, 2012 

A 44-year-old Olympia man pleaded guilty Tuesday in Thurston County Superior Court to multiple counts of child molestation, voyeurism and possession of child pornography.

Christopher Buhi faces 87 to 116 months in prison for his crimes. His sentencing hearing is tentatively scheduled for Oct. 11.

During a Tuesday hearing, Buhi pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, two counts of second-degree child molestation, and two counts of voyeurism.

Olympia police detectives arrested Buhi in December 2011 after his roommates on Brawne Avenue reported finding child pornography on his computer. The roommates said they came across “numerous photographs of female children under the age of 10 engaged in sexually explicit conduct” while they were using an external hard drive that belonged to Buhi, court papers state.

The roommates also reported that Buhi, who formerly worked at a software company, “frequently sought out areas in which children could be found playing and photographed them,” court papers state.

As the Olympia Police Department’s investigation progressed, Buhi was additionally charged with molesting an 11-year-old girl. According to his criminal information, Buhi made sexually explicit videotapes of the girl.

One of the people who reported Buhi to police said Buhi photographed children playing near Roosevelt Elementary School and also had volunteered to work with children as a tutor at a nearby apartment complex, court papers state. She also said Buhi was a member of a “family nudist club,” according to court papers.

During OPD’s investigation, detectives discovered child pornography as well as “numerous images of school-age children at play,” court papers state. “These images included groups of children at playgrounds, school functions and a parade.”

Buhi had no prior criminal record. Upon his release from prison, he must spend a period of time under the supervision of the state Department of Corrections, and he must register as a sex offender. 360-754-5445

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