A registered sex offender has been sentenced to 68 months in prison for molesting two girls during a swim party at their Thurston County home.
Bill Levi Bryant, 36, appeared Monday in Thurston County Superior Court after pleading guilty last month to two counts of third-degree rape of a child and one count of second-degree burglary.
Bryant was originally charged with two counts of first-degree child molestation following his arrest in June 2015. According to court documents, Bryant had attended a swim party. After he left, the host family’s daughters, ages 11 and 9, told their mother that Bryant had repeatedly touched their private areas while playing with them in the pool.
Bryant’s plea is called an In Re Barr plea, in which a defendant will plead guilty to lesser substitute charges that were not actually committed to avoid being convicted of the more serious original charges if the case were to go to trial.
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Prosecutors agreed to the plea to protect the victims from the trauma of testifying in court, said Megan Winder, deputy prosecutor.
At Monday’s hearing, the victims’ parents told the court about the lasting emotional impact of Bryant’s actions.
“You betrayed my children and family,” the mother said to Bryant, a longtime family friend who she said stole her daughters’ innocence and sense of security. “You should never be let out of prison because you cannot stop destroying lives.”
Following the incident, she said her daughters went on “suicide watch.”
“I had to take my daughter to the hospital because she kept trying to hurt herself,” she said turning to Bryant.
Bryant told the court he was sorry for “the way things played out.”
“I’m just trying to do the best thing for all parties involved and move on with my life,” he said.
Judge Erik Price issued the maximum sentence of 68 months and said he was limited by state law from imposing a higher sentence. The judge did grant Bryant supervised visitation with his son while incarcerated.
However, Price noted that Bryant has not taken responsibility for his actions or admitted to the violations.
“You have not demonstrated an ability to not re-offend,” Price said. “I do hope for your young family that you are able to change.”
Bryant is a registered sex offender with an Oakville address. In 1996, Bryant was convicted as a juvenile for first-degree rape of a child and first-degree child molestation. In 2005, he was convicted of three counts of third-degree rape of a child.
His criminal history also includes convictions for third- and fourth-degree assault and failure to register as a sex offender.