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Long prison term faces Oak Harbor child rapist

A 64-year-old Oak Harbor man who raped two young girls is facing more than 12 years in prison.

Richard Tice Sr. pleaded guilty in Island County Superior Court July 7 to two counts of first-degree rape of a child as part as a plea bargain. He repeatedly raped a 4-year-old girl and an 8-year-old girl.

Island County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Eric Ohme said he and the defense will both recommend the judge sentence Tice Sr. to an indeterminate sentence of 147 months to life. An indeterminate sentence means Tice Sr. will serve a minimum of the 147 months in prison, but then a review board at the prison will determine if he should be released.

“He’s in poor health and he’s 64 years old, so it’s most likely a life sentence for him,” Ohme said, adding that the victims’ family is satisfied with the plea bargain.

Detective Sgt. Teri Gardner with the Oak Harbor Police Department started investigating the case earlier this year after the parents of one of the victims brought her to the hospital after she disclosed the abuse.

The 4-year-old child was transported to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle for a forensic examination. Gardner then received a report that Tice Sr. had also assaulted an 8-year-old child.

Both girls described the sexual assaults in interviews with the detectives.

Ohme said Tice Sr. threatened to take away one of the girl’s beloved dog in order to keep her quiet.

Tice Sr. admitted to the detective that he raped the little girls, but blamed the 4-year-old girl for initiating the sexual assaults. Apparently he’s changed his attitude since then.

“He’s accepting responsibility. He’s understands it was wrong and he’s very sorry,” defense attorney Peter Simpson of Coupeville said.

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