Crime

Man suspected of molesting girl twice in three years in Ferndale and Lynden

A Whatcom County man is suspected of sexually assaulting a girl he is familiar with on two separate occasions over three years when the girl was between ages 9 and 12.

Zachary James Butorac, 34, and his attorney met Ferndale Police detectives and turned himself in Thursday at the Whatcom County Jail. He was booked on suspicion of first-degree child molestation and second-degree child molestation and was released later that day on $60,000 bail, according to jail records.

According to information provided to The Bellingham Herald by Ferndale spokesperson Riley Sweeney, a child forensic interview found that one of the alleged incidents occurred within Ferndale city limits, while the other was in Lynden. Butorac would have been approximately 31 years old at the time of the first incident.

The initial report of the alleged incidents was made to Child Protective Services and the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office, but Ferndale Police handled the primary investigation.

According to court documents, Butorac has previous convictions for possession of a controlled substance, unlawful firearm possession and stolen property trafficking from 2010 through 2012.

David Rasbach joined The Bellingham Herald in 2005 and now covers breaking news. He has been an editor and writer in several western states since 1994.
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