Bail was set at $25,000 for a Lacey man accused of pursuing a relationship with a 15-year-old girl.
Christopher Joel Zahn, 29, appeared Monday afternoon in Thurston County Superior Court. He is facing two counts of communicating with a minor for immoral purposes and one count of luring. His arraignment is set for Oct. 6.
Court documents give the following account:
A Lacey woman contacted police after discovering that her 15-year-old daughter was hanging out with Zahn at his home. The girl told a detective that she had met Zahn during spring break, and that he would take pictures and videos of her and her friends.
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They lost contact after spring break, but during the summer, Zahn started coming to Rainier Vista Park in Lacey to see the girl and her friends.
The girl told the detective that Zahn had given her alcohol while they were at the park, and said she had been alone at least three times with Zahn at his home on Park Place Loop. She told the detective that one time when she visited, Zahn answered the door wearing only boxer shorts.
The girl also told detectives that Zahn would send long text messages stating that he loved her and that he wanted to date her, and that he once asked for a kiss via text. She said Zahn had asked her to go out with him.
Zahn was brought to the Lacey Police Department for questioning. He told a detective that he had never done anything inappropriate with the girl, but admitted to asking her to be his girlfriend. He also told the detective that he wanted to be close with the girl by spending time, hugging and holding hands.
At Monday’s hearing, Judge James Dixon said bail was set at $25,000 because Zahn had previously violated no-contact orders and posed a risk of reoffending. Dixon also noted that Zahn has a prior conviction for fourth-degree assault with sexual motivation, which was part of a plea deal that reduced an original 2009 charge of third-degree rape of a child. In that case, the victim was a 14-year-old girl, according to court documents.
If bail is posted, Zahn is prohibited from having any contact with minors, and is banned from visiting any parks or establishments where children might be present.