Bellingham man gets 2 1/2 years for molesting young girl

A Bellingham man will spend 2 1/2 years in prison for molesting a young girl.

Felipe Lopez-Gomez, 27, pleaded guilty in January to second-degree child molestation for sexually touching a young girl in December 2013.

Whatcom County Superior Court Judge Charles Snyder handed Lopez-Gomez a sentence of 30 months on March 19, 2015, longer than the standard range of 15 to 20 months. He also will spend three years on probation after serving his prison sentence.

The mother caught Lopez-Gomez molesting her child, who was younger than 10, according to a Department of Corrections investigation. The mother immediately called police. When police arrived, Lopez-Gomez was outside smoking a cigarette.

Lopez-Gomez refused to be interviewed by a Department of Corrections evaluator, and he denied molesting the girl to police. He had no known prior criminal history.