Man to be sentenced on child rape, molestation charges

Steven Chester Pope of Port Angeles pleaded guilty in June.

PORT ANGELES — A 58-year-old Port Angeles man will be sentenced Monday on multiple counts of child rape and child molestation.

Steven Chester Pope pleaded guilty in June to two counts of second-degree child rape and single counts of second-degree child molestation and third-degree child molestation.

Each count contained a special allegation of an ongoing pattern of sexual abuse.

Pope faces a standard sentencing range of 17 1/2 years to 23 1/3 years in prison, Clallam County Chief Criminal Deputy Michele Devlin confirmed.

He will be sentenced at 9 a.m. Monday in Clallam County Superior Court.

Investigators said the crimes occurred throughout the course of several years in Bellingham and the Port Angeles area.

The alleged victims are now young adults.

One said she was abused by Pope from the time she was 7 or 8 until she was 15, according to the affidavit for probable cause.

A second woman told authorities that she was abused by Pope from about the third or fourth grade to the eighth grade.

The women agreed to wire-tapped phone conversations with Pope in which he admitted to sexual acts with the children.

“Steven said he did not feel good about it, either,” Kitsap County Sheriff’s Detective Gerald Swayze wrote in the certificate of probable cause.

Kitsap County authorities assisted Port Angeles police with the investigation because of a conflict of interest, court papers said.

Port Angeles police arrested Pope after the April 7 court-approved, police-recorded phone call.

In a post-arrest interview, Pope admitted to repeated sexual contact with the children and that he had taken a nude photograph of one of the girls with his cellphone, Swayze wrote in his report.

Clallam County Superior Court Judge Christopher Melly released Pope on his personal recognizance April 8.

Devlin had requested a $100,000 bail for Pope, according to the minutes of the preliminary hearing.

Pope was charged four days later with 11 child sex crimes: two counts of first-degree child rape, three counts of second-degree child rape, two counts of third-degree child rape, two counts of first-degree child molestation and two counts of second-degree child molestation.

Each count contained special allegations for an ongoing pattern of sexual abuse.

Pope was rearrested June 15 for violating a sexual assault no-contact order that Melly signed.

Clallam County Sheriff’s Deputy Brandon Stoppani said Pope attempted to contact one of the alleged victims through a third party June 5, according to the arrest report.

Pope agreed to accept a plea offer June 22. He entered formal guilty pleas June 28.

Pope is being held in the Clallam County jail without bond.

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at [email protected].

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