Olympia man pleads guilty to child molestation, faces up to 15 years

An Olympia man has pleaded guilty to multiple counts of child molestation and faces up to 15 years in prison.

Brandon Hughes-Ranahan, 36, appeared Monday in Thurston County Superior Court, where he pleaded guilty to five counts of second-degree child molestation and one count of second-degree child assault/domestic violence.

Prosecutors are recommending a 10-year sentence with lifetime probation. Sentencing is set for Aug. 3.

However, Hughes-Ranahan is being held in federal custody and awaits sentencing at the federal level, where the recommended sentence is 15 years, Deputy Prosecutor Craig Juris said.

Hughes-Ranahan was arrested in 2014 after sexually explicit photos of young girls were found on his barracks computer while his Army National Guard unit was training in Yakima. The former sergeant has since been discharged from the National Guard.

According to court documents, Hughes-Ranahan told the FBI during the investigation that he had molested two girls in his family who were both younger than 13 at the time of the incidents. He also took photos of them on multiple occasions.

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

Andy Hobbs: 360-704-6869