BELLINGHAM - A Bellingham man was sentenced Wednesday, Nov. 6, to more than 7 years and 8 months in prison for trying to have sex with a girl under age 10.
Police first contacted Steven Glen Wyatt, 26, after a woman using his computer in 2012 discovered sexual Facebook messages between him and a girl, who at that time was a teenager.
When interviewed, Wyatt told officers he sent the messages but had never sexually touched the girl, according to court documents.
The victim first told police Wyatt had asked to do sexual acts with her when she was younger but hadn't. After officers showed her some of the Facebook messages, she told them that when she under age 10, Wyatt had asked her more than once to get naked while they were alone in her mother's bedroom. She said he then tried to have intercourse with her, according to court documents.
Wyatt pleaded guilty Sept. 5 to conspiracy to commit rape of a child in the first degree, a class B felony. In exchange, the state dropped charges of communicating with a minor for immoral purposes using electronic communications, and two counts of first-degree rape of a child.
Whatcom County Superior Court Judge Deborah Garrett accepted the plea Wednesday, sentencing Wyatt to 92 months in prison, with 36 months in community custody, noting the total time served would not exceed 120 months, the maximum sentence allowed.
Wyatt, who has no other criminal history, already has served 17 months in jail leading up to the sentence.
In tears, the victim's mother told the court Wednesday that her daughter has struggled with nightmares, alcohol and marijuana use, and has dropped out of school. She told the judge she wanted to make sure this would not be swept under the carpet, so no child would go through what her daughter experienced.
Wyatt's mother also tearfully addressed the court, asking that Wyatt be allowed to stay in touch with his 15-year-old brother and 4-year-old son, whose mother was the one who discovered the Facebook messages. Wyatt's mother also said he loves his little sister - he has a tattoo of her name - but she understood the circumstances wouldn't likely allow him to see her.
Stating that because Wyatt's family is the strongest incentive for him to improve, Garrett granted an exception to the blanket order keeping him from communicating with minors, allowing him the possibility to have supervised visits with his son and brother.
Reach Samantha Wohlfeil at 360-756-2803 or firstname.lastname@example.org.