Lacey man pleads not guilty to child rape

A 21-year-old Lacey man accused of having sex with a 14-year-old-girl pleaded not guilty to child rape charges in Thurston County Superior Court on Tuesday morning.

Corey M. Phillips was arrested Dec. 12 and later released on his own personal recognizance. He is charged with third-degree child rape and third-degree child molestation. His trial is set for the week of March 23.

Police began investigating Phillips after a Lacey woman reported that she had seen her boyfriend in bed with her 14-year-old niece, according to court documents. Detectives interviewed the girl, who said Phillips forced her to have sex with him sometime during the summer.

She said that she, her aunt, Phillips and a few other people had been drinking in a Lacey hotel and that her aunt had paid her $200 to drink. She eventually went to sleep, and woke up to Phillips moving her to his bed. She told police that he raped her, according to court documents.

Phillips later told police that he had sex with the girl, but he couldn’t remember much about it.