Port Angeles man sentenced to 20 years in prison for child rape

Byron G. Midkiff pleaded guilty Jan. 9

PORT ANGELES — Byron G. Midkiff has been sentenced to more than 20 years in state prison for raping and molesting a 12-year-old child.

Midkiff, 42, of Port Angeles was sentenced Thursday to 20 years, five months in prison and community custody for life.

He had pleaded guilty Jan. 9 to two counts of second-degree rape of a child with domestic violence and two counts of second-degree child molestation with domestic violence for crimes against a girl who suffers from a mental disorder.

Clallam County Superior Court Judge Lauren Erickson imposed the 245-month sentence despite a recommended sentence of 210 months.

Under state law, the standard sentencing range was 210 months to 280 months.

“I think this deserves a little more than the low end of the range given what I’ve read,” Erickson said, referring to police reports.

Victim impacts statements were made by the girl’s mother, father and grandmother.

“It’s clear that your actions have devastated this child and this family,” Erickson told Midkiff.

“You’ve stolen this child from them.”

Midkiff did not speak at his sentencing hearing but provided a statement read by his attorney, John Hayden of Clallam Public Defender.

“If I could go back and redo the things I have done I would,” Midkiff said through his attorney.

“This isn’t possible, however, so all I can do now is get the therapy I need and hope for the best.”

Midkiff was arrested after the crimes were reported to the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office last Sept. 8.

He told investigators that the girl had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and had multiple personalities, including a “sexual one,” Deputy William Cortani said in the affidavit for probable cause.

The child told deputies that Midkiff had been touching her sexually since she was 6.

“I’m dreadfully sorry for all the trouble I have put your family though,” Midkiff said, addressing the victim.

“You need to know that you are not to blame for what happened between us. You should also know that I do not blame you. I hope you can cherish the good memories we share and find it in your heart to forgive me for the bad ones.”

The victim did not attend the sentencing hearing.

“You have a great light inside of you full of love and life,” Midkiff continued.

“Please don’t let any feelings of shame or guilt you may have diminish that light. This was not your fault. I was a responsible adult and I acted irresponsibly.”

Erickson said she was “stunned” by Midkiff’s statements to law enforcement that the girl had acted sexually aggressive towards him and that he “knew it was wrong but he didn’t know how to stop her.”

“The other thing that has kind of hit me today was your statement that I hope you, referring to the child, can remember the good times,” Erickson said in court Thursday.

“That just shows me a total lack of understanding of what’s gone on here,” Erickson added.

“I do appreciate, however, that you pleaded guilty.”

Midkiff will receive credit for the 5 1/2 months he has served in the Clallam County jail. He will be 62 when released from state prison in February 2040 if he serves the full term.

“He will be under the jurisdiction of the Indeterminate Sentencing Review Board for the rest of his life,” Erickson said.

“And, as Mr. Hayden indicated, if he doesn’t comply with the conditions set forth … the Department of Corrections will take him back into custody.”

Erickson signed a post-conviction sexual assault protection order preventing Midkiff from having any contact with the victim until February 2099.

Midkiff, a former U.S. Postal Service worker, had no criminal history prior to the case.

Family members said Midkiff had groomed the child for years.

“You know that saying wolf in sheep’s clothing? That was definitely Byron,” said Kim Acuna, the victim’s grandmother.

“He was a monster through and through.”

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

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