A jury in Island County Superior Court found Bryon Koeller guilty of child molestation charges Monday. (Photo by Jessie Stensland / Whidbey News-Times)

A jury in Island County Superior Court found Bryon Koeller guilty of child molestation charges Monday. (Photo by Jessie Stensland / Whidbey News-Times)

Jury finds man guilty of child molestation

A jury found a former Oak Harbor man guilty of committing a series of sex crimes against a child over a period of nearly a decade.

Bryon C. Koeller shook his head as the judge in Island County Superior Court read the lengthy verdict Monday afternoon.

The jury found him guilty of indecent liberties, four counts of child molestation in the first degree and two counts of child molestation in the second degree.

In a special verdict for each of these charges, the jury found that the crimes were part of an ongoing pattern of sex abuse against someone who was younger than 18 years old.

The special verdicts allow the judge to sentence Koeller beyond the standard sentencing range of about 12 to 16 years in prison.

Koeller molested a girl from 1998 to 2007, beginning when she was just 11 years old.

The jury found Koeller not guilty of a charge of child molestation in the third degree.

Koeller was taken into custody after the verdict was read. His sentencing hearing hasn’t been set yet.

This case wasn’t the first time Koeller, a former Navy man, was accused of sexual misconduct against children.

Koeller was convicted of communicating with a minor for immoral purposes at the end of a long and complicated case that began in 2007, when he was accused of raping a 4-year-old boy in his wife’s care as part of an informal daycare, according to court documents.

Koeller’s first trial ended in mistrial after the jury deadlocked.

He was convicted in a second trial, but Koeller appealed and won; the Court of Appeals ruled the judge erred by allowing the child to testify via closed-circuit TV.

Koeller pleaded guilty to the gross misdemeanor sex crime in order to save the victim from having to testify again.

In the new trial, the judge excluded evidence of Koeller’s conviction, as well as allegations by his four other children of prior sexual misconduct.

The trial began last Tuesday.

The jury deliberated Monday and announced the verdict at about 2 p.m.

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