A man who raped a young girl and got her addicted to methamphetamine was sentenced Tuesday, Sept. 25, to a minimum prison sentence of more than 11 years.
A jury found Raymond Abitia, 48, guilty in June of raping the girl and giving her meth.
Abitia, who knew the girl, was caught having sex with her at a party in April 2011, when the homeowner walked in on them. Abitia had taken her to a bedroom "where he had sex with her until he heard someone coming and then stopped," according to court records.
The discovery sparked an investigation. The girl told investigators the sexual abuse had been going on for more than a year. It started in a house south of Lynden, when she was a preteen.
At around the same age, Abitia got her addicted to methamphetamine. He gave her the drug often. Before they had sex at the party, he handed her a baggy of meth so she could smoke it in the bathroom.
On other occasions, the girl watched Abitia give the drug to a younger preteen boy.
A woman came forward to deputies during the investigation and said that in the '90s she was also raped by Abitia, starting when she was 11 years old.
Abitia, shackled and sporting a long black handlebar moustache, declined to address the court at his sentencing Tuesday.
A clerical error had delayed a pre-sentence investigation, so Abitia's defense attorney, Lance Hendrix, argued that was grounds to dismiss the charges, or at least to soften the sentence. That issue will be dealt with if Abitia succeeds in appealing his case, something he intends to do.
Superior Court Judge Ira Uhrig sentenced Abitia to a minimum of 11 years and four months in prison, with a maximum term of life behind bars.
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