Olympia man faces multiple charges of child molestation

An Olympia man faces multiple charges of child molestation nearly nine months after he was arrested for having child pornography on his barracks computer while training with the Army National Guard.

Brandon Hughes-Ranahan, 36, appeared Monday in Thurston County Superior Court. He pleaded not guilty to four counts of first-degree child molestation, one count of second-degree child molestation, and one count of second-degree child assault.

Bail was set at $50,000, and trial was set for the week of June 1.

Hughes-Ranahan has been in federal custody in SeaTac since last July, when sexually explicit photos of young girls were found on his computer while his guard unit was training in Yakima.

Hughes-Ranahan had become a member of the 81st Brigade Combat Team after two deployments to Iraq, according to reports. His arrest led to his discharge from the guard.

Monday’s arraignment stemmed from a warrant that was issued by the county in October. According to court documents, Hughes-Ranahan told the FBI during the investigation that he had molested two minor girls in his family and took photos of them on multiple occasions. Both girls were age 13 or younger when the incidents took place, documents show.

The child assault charge stems from an incident that took place shortly before his arrest, in which Hughes-Ranahan allegedly put his hands around one girl’s throat and choked her while wrestling, according to documents.