Crime

Former Bellingham preschool teacher sentenced after decades-long child sexual abuse

Preschool teacher accused of child sex offenses makes first appearance in court

Ron Guier makes his first appearance in Whatcom County Superior Court on Friday, April 13, in Bellingham. Guier is accused of first-degree child rape, first-degree child molestation, first-degree incest, second-degree rape and witness tampering.
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Ron Guier makes his first appearance in Whatcom County Superior Court on Friday, April 13, in Bellingham. Guier is accused of first-degree child rape, first-degree child molestation, first-degree incest, second-degree rape and witness tampering.

A former Bellingham preschool teacher will spend the next two decades in prison for nearly two decades of sexual abuse of a now 24-year-old man.

Ronald Lynn Guier, 41, was sentenced Monday, May 7, to 20 years in prison, with three years of probation, in Whatcom County Superior Court. He will have to register as a sex offender, court records state.

Guier pleaded guilty March 11 to one count of second-degree child molestation and one count of first-degree incest. He also entered an Alford plea, where he admitted a jury would likely find him guilty but still maintains his innocence, for one count of third-degree child rape, court records show. The plea is still a conviction.

Guier was originally facing 10 felony charges relating to sexual abuse, according to court records.

In 2007, Bellingham police investigated a Child Protective Services report that a then-12-year-old boy was sexually abused by Guier when he was approximately 7 years old, court records state. At the time of the disclosure, the boy was in a residential in-patient mental health treatment center. The disclosure was overheard by a staff member who heard the boy tell his mother about the abuse.

The case was ultimately dropped because of insufficient evidence, the records state.

Suicide note confession of sex abuse

On April 6, 2018, Guier left a suicide note for his wife confessing that he took advantage of the boy’s mental health vulnerabilities and had been sexually abusing the boy since he was 7, court records show.

The note went on to say Guier manipulated the boy into recanting his statement in the 2007 case, according to court records.

Guier was a paraeducator and preschool teacher at Roosevelt Elementary School and previously worked at Blossom Childcare and Learning Center in Bellingham. He was hired in 2014 and had been teaching in Roosevelt’s special education preschool program since January 2018.

Guier was placed on administrative leave and resigned April 23, 2018, according to Bellingham Public Schools spokesperson Dana Smith. As previously reported in The Herald, the police investigation did not involve Bellingham Public School students.

Guier’s teaching certificate in the state of Washington has also been revoked, according to court records.

Reporter Denver Pratt joined The Bellingham Herald in 2017 and covers courts and criminal and social justice. She has worked in Montana, Florida and Virginia.


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