A Lacey man who has admitted to molesting a girl repeatedly for years has been sentenced to nine months in jail and lifetime probation.
George Steven Grinstine, 69, was sentenced Monday in Thurston County Superior Court after previously pleading guilty to two counts of first-degree child molestation. Grinstine had faced a sentence of 89 months to life in prison, but instead received a special sex offender sentencing alternative, commonly referred to as SSOSA.
Under this alternative, Grinstine must register as a sex offender and undergo sexual deviancy treatment, and is prohibited from having contact with minors. The sentence was supported by the victim’s family, said Megan Winder, deputy prosecuting attorney. Winder told the court Monday that Grinstine’s actions have “really destroyed the family.”
Grinstine was arrested June 1. According to court documents, the 17-year-old victim told police in May that Grinstine had been touching her breasts and groin area several times a week since she was 5 years old. The victim was unable to estimate the number of times Grinstine had made sexual contact and told police it was “too many to count.”
When asked how often the sexual contact had occurred, Grinstine told police it had happened “about 100 times.”
During a pre-sentence investigation, Grinstine admitted all wrongdoing to a licensed psychologist and wanted to understand why he committed the crime. He attributed his behavior to post-traumatic stress disorder from serving with the U.S. Marine Corps in Vietnam in the 1960s.
Court documents show that Grinstine has no prior criminal convictions. He also ran a small fishing supply and repair business and would teach local children how to fish.
At Monday’s sentencing, Grinstine apologized for the pain he caused the victim and family.
“I’ve totally let them down because of my narrow-mindedness and self-pity,” he told the court. “I don’t know a stronger word than sorry.”
Judge Erik Price said the court “gives great weight” to a victim’s opinion and input when it comes to sentencing. The judge said he was disturbed by the facts of the case and how the victim had to silently endure the abuse “over and over again.”
“I am devastated for this victim,” Price said. “It breaks my heart.”