Sequim man charged with child-rape counts; four victims come forward

A 30-year-old Sequim man is facing new child rape charges after a fourth alleged victim disclosed crimes to authorities last week.

Nathan A. Chavez was charged Feb. 10 with two counts of third-degree child rape after a 15-year-old girl told investigators that she was raped by Chavez twice last fall.

Chavez previously was charged with three counts of third-degree child rape, two counts of second-degree child rape and single counts of first-degree child rape and third-degree child molestation for alleged crimes involving three girls between the ages of 11-16.

He will be arraigned on all nine counts at 9 a.m. Friday, Feb. 17, in Clallam County Superior Court.

Chavez is being held in the Clallam County jail on $250,000 bail.

Michele Devlin, Clallam County chief criminal deputy prosecuting attorney, said in an interview last week that the case remained under investigation.

Sheriff’s Deputy Amy Bundy interviewed the fourth girl at Healthy Families of Clallam County on Feb. 9.

The girl said she was raped by Chavez in a span of a few weeks last September or October, according to the arrest report.

In both alleged incidents, Chavez provided alcohol to the then-14-year-old at parties, drove with her alone to remote locations and raped her inside his truck, Bundy said in the court filing.

The girl told Bundy she had met Chavez through his younger brother and that Chavez had told her he was 20, Bundy said.

Two other children said they lived with Chavez when the crimes occurred.

One of the girls, who now lives in a Spokane foster home, said she was first raped by Chavez in a tree house near his Sequim-area residence when she was 11.

A Spokane police detective interviewed the now-16-year-old, who said Chavez impregnated her and that she had a miscarriage at 12.

In a later interview with Bundy, the girl said Chavez also had sex with two of her friends when they were 15 or younger.

The incidents were discussed by the girls in a series of Jan. 12 text messages, which were saved as screenshots, according to Bundy’s report.

“I can’t believe I let myself be in a sexual relationship with such an older, disgusting man,” one alleged victim wrote in a text message.

Chavez’s wife told authorities that she had no direct knowledge of her husband’s relationships with underage girls, the report said.

Devlin has said there was no evidence that Chavez abused his own children.

Clallam County Superior Court Judge Christopher Melly last week cited alleged “predatory behavior” in setting Chavez’s bail at $250,000 as requested by Devlin.

Melly at that hearing signed sexual assault protection orders preventing Chavez from having any contact with the three known alleged victims.

In a Feb. 10 hearing, Superior Court Judge Erik Rohrer signed an identical order protecting the fourth girl.

Melly had appointed a Clallam public defender to Chavez’s defense but ordered him to file a financial affidavit.

Port Angeles attorney Stan Myers became Chavez’s lawyer Feb. 10.

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Rob Ollikainen is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. He can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at pgottlieb@peninsuladailynews.com. He can be reached at 360-452-2345, extfor. 56450, or at rollikainen@peninsuladailynews.com.

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