Gavel

WENATCHEE — An 80-year-old Manson man charged with four instances of child sexual abuse dating to the early 2000s was convicted Thursday on half the charges.

A Chelan County jury convicted Michael Sutcliffe Detering on two counts each of first-degree child rape and molestation, but acquitted on two identical charges. Jurors pondered the evidence behind closed doors for more than seven hours before delivering their verdict at 6:20 p.m.

The three-day trial stemmed from disclosures by a woman who said Detering began sexually molesting and assaulting her in 1999, when she was 8 years old. The victim told Chelan County sheriff's investigators the sexual abuse was carried out over several years, culminating in rape when she was 10 years old. The victim and her family resided on Detering's property on Lower Joe Creek Road outside Manson at the time.

Deputies said when initially interviewed in May 2018 about the allegations, Detering admitted to sexual contact with the victim when she was a child and said he touched her in "all the wrong places." He did not testify in his own defense. 

Detering, who had been free on $20,000 bond, was ordered jailed by Judge Lesley Allan after the verdict. No sentencing date has been set; Detering, who has no prior felony history, could face more than seven to 10 years in prison on the child rape charge alone.

Jefferson Robbins: 679-7013

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