Man pleads guilty to federal child molestation charge

Sentencing in May likely 8 to 12 years in prison

TACOMA — A Port Townsend man has pleaded guilty to molesting a young boy in Canada and faces a federal prison sentence, the U.S. Attorney’s office said.

John Timothy Whicher, 62, could be sentenced to between eight and 12 years in prison based on an agreed recommendation from both parties, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice.

U.S. District Judge Benjamin H. Settle is scheduled to sentence Whicher on May 18 in Tacoma. The maximum penalty is 30 years in prison, according to the release.

Whicher molested the 6-year-old boy at a family cabin in Ontario in August 2017 after he purchased the trip as a surprise without informing the child’s custodial parent, prosecutors said.

He was charged in August with engaging in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign place.

The investigation began more than two years ago after the boy’s mother reported to Port Townsend police that Whicher raped her son.

Whicher bought plane tickets for himself and the boy and flew from Seattle to International Falls, Minn., and then crossed the border at Fort Francis into Canada, charging papers said.

The boy’s mother thought it was strange but allowed it because she had a good relationship with Whicher, although she was concerned he would be drinking while he was on the trip, according to court documents.

The morning after the two returned, the boy told his mother and another person Whicher sexually abused him.


When Whicher was confronted on the allegations, he allegedly responded he was just trying to teach the boy about the “birds and the bees” and that “boys don’t have sex with boys.”

Whicher will be required to register as a sex offender following his release from prison, according to the plea agreement.

He also will be responsible for an undetermined amount of restitution to the victim and for damages he suffered, according to the release.

The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and prosecuted by assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Hampton.


Jefferson County Managing Editor Brian McLean can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 6, or at

More in Crime

Woman accused of trafficking to minors arrested for assault

A 35-year-old woman who said she identifies as a… Continue reading

Clallam Bay man faces trial on child porn charges

Colby C. Underwood-Moore, 33, of Clallam Bay faces a… Continue reading

Port Hadlock man arrested after alleged assault, standoff

A 49-year-old Port Hadlock man is scheduled for a… Continue reading

One youth involved in City Pier assault sentenced to juvenile hall

Boy receives up to nine months; other set to appear Dec. 7

Hill trial delayed on third occasion

Four- to five-week session now in June

Woman sentenced for providing drugs to prison inmate who died

She pleads guilty to felony controlled substances homicide

Rental truck thief sentenced to 41 months

A Port Angeles man who pleaded guilty to seven… Continue reading

Sequim man awaiting evaluation after child rape charges

A Sequim man facing five first-degree child rape charges… Continue reading

Clallam County agrees to sell property that was seized in 2022

Parcel confiscated after investigation of pot growing operation

Accused murderer pleads not guilty

Sequim woman to be back in court Dec. 12

Sequim woman declared competent to stand trial

Woman accused of attempted murder of her kids

Wanted woman jailed after string of burglaries

Stolen mail among potential charges