A 27-year-old Graham man pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree child rape Tuesday, nearly seven years after raping two Thurston County girls while baby-sitting.
Kenneth L. Spears entered the pleas before Judge John Skinder in Thurston County Superior Court. His sentencing was postponed until May 15.
Prosecutors are asking for the maximum sentence: 18 years to life in prison.
These aren’t Spears’ first child-rape convictions. He was convicted of first-degree child rape in King County.
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Spears is the nephew of Lacey resident Cynthia Miller, who was convicted on child abuse charges — two counts of first-degree assault of a child, two counts of second-degree assault of a child, one count of third-degree assault of a child and one count of criminal mistreatment — in January 2016. She is serving a 35-year sentence in the Washington Corrections Center for Women in Purdy.
The victim in Miller’s case is one of the victims in Spears’ case, according to court documents. Spears’ victims were living in Miller’s house during the time of the rapes.
Lacey police began investigating Spears last May after the victims’ grandfather reported that their former baby sitter had sexually abused the girls beginning in 2010. One of the victims was 6 years old when the abuse started, and the other was 4 years old.
In his guilty plea, Spears wrote that the abuse took place over three years.
Spears admitted that he had sexual intercourse with the older victim but denied touching the younger girl. However, he pleaded guilty to the charge involving the younger girl because he had reason to believe a jury would find him guilty.