Neah Bay man sentenced for abusing minor

TACOMA — A Neah Bay man has been sentenced to 2½ years in prison and 10 years of supervised release for sexual abuse of a minor, a U.S. attorney announced.

Mitchel Canas was sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court in Tacoma.

Pleaded guilty

He pleaded guilty to the charge in May, admitting that he sexually molested a 13-year-old girl, U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes said in a press release.

Canas was indicted by a grand jury last November on an allegation that Canas sexually abused the child between November 2015 and October 2016.

According to the complaint for violation, the girl’s parents told police that Canas was having a sexual relationship with their daughter.

Found text messages

The child’s mother said she discovered inappropriate text messages between Canas and the girl on Canas’s cellphone, the complaint read.

Investigators found hundreds of text messages between Canas and the girl and photographs of the abuse on the girl’s iPhone and iPod, court papers said.

The case was investigated by the Makah Tribal Police Department and the FBI.

The federal court had jurisdiction because the crimes occurred on Makah land, U.S. Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Emily Langlie said in a Monday news release.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Tate London, who serves as a tribal liaison for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Langlie said.

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

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