Oak Harbor man admits he tried to molest child

A couch-surfing Oak Harbor resident who tried to molest an 11-year-old boy faces a contested sentencing hearing next month.

Brandon Cole, 26, pleaded guilty in Island County Superior Court Jan. 4 to attempted child molestation in the first degree. His sentencing hearing will be Feb. 16 at 1:30 p.m.

At the hearing, Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Colleen Kenimond will recommend that the judge sentence Cole to three years, two months and one week in prison, which is the minimum under the standard sentencing range.

The defense attorney, on the other hand, will recommend that Cole be sentenced under the Special Sex Offender Sentencing Alternative, or SSOSA. The sentencing alternative is for first-time sex offenders and allows them to undergo sex-offender treatment in lieu of the regular prison term. Under a SSOSA, an offender can be sentenced to a maximum of one year in jail.

According to court records, the attempted molestation took place in August at an Oak Harbor home. A woman and her 11-year-old son were visiting a friend overnight. The boy was sleeping on the couch when Cole woke him by rubbing the boy’s stomach and putting his hands inside the front of his pants. The youngster stopped Cole before he touched his genitals.

Cole was a transient who was “couch surfing,” which means he was staying at different friends’ homes for short periods of time.

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