Lynden man, 30, convicted of molesting girl

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDMay 10, 2013 

LYNDEN - A man previously jailed for sexually abusing a goat pleaded guilty Thursday, May 9, to molesting a young girl.

Gary Allen Veldhuizen, 30, of Lynden, touched the girl over her clothes when they played together in early 2011, according to Whatcom County Superior Court records. He knew the girl, who was younger than 10. Prosecutors believe he was grooming her for further abuse.

"Based on his history, we know his intent," said Deputy Prosecutor Eric Richey.

In May 2010, a teenager caught Veldhuizen in the act of raping a goat in a trailer on Enterprise Road. Veldhuizen had been fired from a previous farm job because of alleged sexual misconduct with another farm animal, according to charging documents.

At the time, Veldhuizen had no felony history. He pleaded guilty to a single count of first-degree animal cruelty, a class C felony, and served 20 days in jail.

Less than three months after his release, the girl reported the sexual abuse. At first, Veldhuizen denied the allegations. But after a polygraph exam, he signed a statement admitting to touching the girl inappropriately, according to the charges.

Veldhuizen pleaded guilty to second-degree child molestation. He has not been sentenced by a judge, but prosecutors suggested a prison term of two years. By law, he must undergo a sex offender evaluation before his sentencing hearing.

A separate burglary case was dismissed as part of the plea deal, but Richey said Veldhuizen likely will still pay restitution for taking engines and power tools from a garage in rural Whatcom County.

Reach Caleb Hutton at 360-715-2276 or caleb.hutton@bellinghamherald.com. Read his Dispatcher blog at blogs.bellinghamherald.com/dispatcher or follow him on Twitter at @bhamcrime.

Bellingham Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service