Oak Harbor man charged with child molesting has sordid history

A registered sex offender molested another child and was sentenced to 90 days of work release.

An Oak Harbor man who was convicted of child molestation in 1992 and received a lenient sentence admitted to molesting another child, according to court documents.

After the girl disclosed what had happened, 71-year-old Gary Boyer allegedly confessed to the crime and told a deputy that he had been a registered sex offender for 10 years after molesting a different child, according to the deputy’s report.

“You think I would have learned my lesson the first time around,” Boyer reportedly told the deputy.

Prosecutors charged Boyer in Island County Superior Court Nov. 16 with child molestation in the third degree, a domestic violence crime. He was released from jail after posting $10,000 bail.

Boyer said he molested the girl while they were on the couch together and watching television Nov. 13, the report states. He confessed that he first massaged her and then sexually assaulted her for 30 minutes while other children were in the room, the deputy wrote.

The details of the assault were nearly identical to a 1992 case in which Boyer admitted to molesting a child while he was massaging her. He pleaded guilty to child molestation in the third degree.

While the standard sentencing range was six to 12 months in jail in the 1992 case, the judge handed Boyer an exceptional sentence below the standard range. She sentenced him to 90 days of work release.

That same year, the Island County Prosecutor’s Office filed an appeal of the exceptional sentence below the standard range but then withdrew the appeal six days later. The only explanation in court papers was that the appeal was erroneously filed.

The findings of fact that supported the exceptional sentence state that Boyer immediately accepted responsibility and never attempted to shift the blame; he is a well known and a lifelong member of the community, except for military service; he has strong support from his family; his family will police his behavior; his remorse was genuine; and he was undergoing treatment.

The document stressed his strong Christian faith and stated that there “is little or no chance the defendant will reoffend.”

The 1992 victim’s impact statement said that the crime caused her to question her faith because Boyer and other men from her church have molested girls.

The statement said the crime caused divisiveness in her life, with some people being angry that she reported what happened to her.

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