Ernest Allen Penn faces up to five years in prison after pleading guilty to raping a 15-year-old girl. He is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 4 in Clallam County Superior Court. (Brian McLean/Peninsula Daily News)

Ernest Allen Penn faces up to five years in prison after pleading guilty to raping a 15-year-old girl. He is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 4 in Clallam County Superior Court. (Brian McLean/Peninsula Daily News)

Former Hoh tribal fisheries officer pleads guilty to sex charges

Ernest Allen Penn to be sentenced Feb. 4

PORT ANGELES — A former Hoh tribal fisheries officer is facing up to five years in prison after pleading guilty to raping a 15-year-old girl.

Ernest Allen Penn, 44, of Forks will be sentenced in Clallam County Superior Court on Feb. 4.

He pleaded guilty Tuesday to two counts of third-degree rape of a child.

Penn had previously pleaded guilty in Jefferson County Superior Court to third-degree rape of a child.

The convictions in both counties stem from repeated sexual contact Penn had with a 15-year-old girl.

Three counts of third-degree rape of a child and one count of communication with a minor for immoral purposes were dismissed Tuesday in exchange for Penn’s guilty plea, Clallam County Deputy Processing Attorney Michael Roberson said.

Penn faces a standard sentencing range of 46 to 60 months in prison in his Clallam County case, Roberson said.

Authorities said Penn had sexual intercourse with the child between Oct. 1, 2017, and Aug. 5, 2018.

The sexual abuse occurred in west Jefferson County and within the city of Forks, according to the affidavit for probable cause.

The girl reported the sexual contact to authorities in February, telling Jefferson County detectives and Forks police that she first met Penn at a gym.

The girl said she and Penn had sex in Penn’s truck while they were hunting on the West End and outside Penn’s residence in Forks, court papers said.

Investigators searched the girl’s cellphone and found 1,842 text messages to or from Penn, eight emails from Penn and 30 phone calls to or from Penn, according to the probable cause statement.

Clallam County Superior Court Judge Lauren Erickson found that Penn knowingly, intelligently and voluntarily entered the guilty pleas and ordered a pre-sentencing investigation by the state Department of Corrections.

Penn was previously sentenced in Jefferson County to 12 months plus one day in prison and three years community custody.

The sentence Penn receives in Clallam County will run consecutively, meaning it will be added to the one-year term he received in Jefferson County.

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at rollikainen@peninsuladailynews.com.

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