Crime

Bellingham child molester sentenced to treatment, suspended prison time

McCLatchy

A Bellingham man convicted of molesting a young girl must spend six months in jail and up to five years in sex offender treatment, a Whatcom County judge ruled Tuesday.

The girl was under the age of 10 when she disclosed Robert Dale “Bobby” Tynsky had been sexually touching her for at least 2 years. She chose to tell someone because “it was happening too much, too much,” she told detectives. The girl described specific instances of when and where Tynsky touched her, according to court records.

Tynsky, 32, agreed to take a polygraph test at the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office. He failed. Confronted with the results, he admitted to long-term sexual abuse of the girl. He told detectives he had “an overwhelming urge to do so,” according to charging papers.

Later, in interviews for his sex offender treatment, Tynski confided he molested the girl when she was a toddler. Usually he would take methamphetamine before fondling the victim, he said. Sometimes there were gaps in the abuse that lasted six months to a year. He warned the girl not to tell anyone, or he’d have to go away for a long time.

Tynsky, a construction worker, had no prior record of sexual offenses. Sheriff’s deputies booked him into jail in April 2015, within hours of the girl’s report. He posted $50,000 bond, and returned to jail when he pleaded guilty in March to four counts of second-degree child molestation. The plea deal called for a Special Sex Offender Sentencing Alternative, or SSOSA, where most of Tynsky’s jail time would be suspended if he attends therapy, outside of the prison walls.

Court records show Tynsky suffered years of physical and sexual abuse as a child, too.

“Instead of having a childhood, Robert learned to survive a life of terror, shame, emptiness, violence, rejection and sexual abuse,” wrote a treatment provider, Rick Ackerman, in a letter filed in court. Tynsky has been undergoing therapy the past two years. Ackerman and a second expert, Ted Neiland, agreed Tynsky had made progress and would benefit from further treatment.

A Department of Corrections report suggested Tynsky should serve prison time, in spite of the plea deal, because “he poses too much of a risk to the community.”

The public defender, Shoshana Paige, argued in favor of the alternative sentence.

“He has expressed a strong desire to learn how and why he did what he did, and to work on the serious emotional issues, including serious emotional, physical, and sexual abuse, that led to his conduct, in hopes of being able to be a better person and to help (the girl and her family) in whatever way he can,” Paige wrote in a sentencing memorandum filed this week.

Superior Court Judge Charles Snyder approved the plea deal Tuesday, ordering a prison sentence of 7 ¼ years, with all but six months of that time suspended. Tynsky could serve the full sentence if he violates the terms of his treatment. He must find and keep a job, and he’s scheduled for a progress review in February 2018.

The girl’s mother had no preference for how Tynksy should be sentenced. Court records say her family simply hoped to “wipe their hands clean,” and move on.

Caleb Hutton: 360-715-2276, @bhamcaleb

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