Mount Vernon man charged with child sex crimes in Joyce

PORT ANGELES — A Mount Vernon man has been charged with nine counts of child sex crimes that he allegedly committed during stays in the Joyce area.

Robert Eugene Burns, 50, pleaded not guilty Thursday to five counts of first-degree child rape, first-degree child molestation, attempted first-degree child molestation and two counts of second-degree child molestation.

A two-week trial was set for Aug. 13.

The Clallam County Sheriff’s Office alleged that Burns raped and molested a girl who was between 8 and 12 during extended stays with the girl’s family.

He also was alleged to have recorded the girl with his phone as she exited her shower into her bedroom, court papers said.

Burns was described as a family friend known to the girl as a non-related uncle, Deputy Joshua Ley said in the affidavit for probable cause.

Burns was arrested Sunday after a Clallam County Sheriff’s Office sting operation at a SeaTac hotel.

He posted a $25,000 bail bond Thursday and hired Port Angeles attorney Karen Unger as his counsel.

Clallam County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Michele Devlin had requested a $100,000 bail for Burns at his initial court appearance Tuesday.

Burns was formally charged Thursday.

Clallam County Superior Court Judge Brian Coughenour signed a post-arraignment no contact order preventing Burns having any contact with the alleged victim.

Burns provided a Camano Island address where he will reside until trial.

A status hearing was scheduled for Feb. 22.

The alleged crimes were reported to authorities by a school counselor Nov. 21.

The now-13-year-old girl told Ley that Burns visited her family regularly.

“(The girl) said that from when she was 8 years of age until she turned 12, Rob would give her his phone to distract her while he did inappropriate things,” Ley wrote in a 27-page arrest narrative.

The girl described Burns as a “monster” who “turned from kinda creep to like full blown perv,” Ley said in his report.

Ley arranged a Sunday meeting between Burns and the alleged victim’s biological mother in SeaTac. Burns was confronted about the alleged crimes at the hotel.

He allegedly told the girl in a recorded phone conversation that he was “sorry” and “wished he could go back and take it all back,” Ley said.


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