Port Townsend man sentenced for raping 6-year-old child

FILE - Generic gavel on wooden table.

A 63-year-old Port Townsend man was sentenced Monday to more than eight years in prison and 10 years of supervised release for raping a 6-year-old child while on a vacation in Canada.

John Timothy Whicher pleaded guilty to engaging in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign place in February 2021, prosecutors said. At the sentencing hearing, U.S. District Judge Benjamin Settle said, the victim "has a life sentence. This kind of horrendous assault follows a victim through their entire life."

"Child sexual abuse has been linked to long-term trauma, health and social problems for victims, including addiction and suicide risk," U.S. Attorney Nick Brown said in a press release. "The conduct in this case was a shocking betrayal to the child and the child’s family. Law enforcement both here and in Canada worked collaboratively seeking justice in this case.

Whicher took the 6-year-old child to Ontario, Canada to stay at a family cabin in August 2017, according to court records. When the child returned from the trip, the child told a parent about the sexual molestation, saying Whicher said to keep it a secret. The parent confronted Whicher and reported the conduct to the Port Townsend Police.

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