Court report

Court report

The following are criminal cases heard Thursday in Skagit County Superior Court:

SEX OFFENSES

n A 29-year-old Burien man was sentenced to six years, six months in prison after pleading guilty to one count of second-degree child molestation and one count of communication with a minor or immoral purposes.

Nicholas William Fritch inappropriately touched a 13-year-old girl and asked her to engage in sexual activities with him in June 2017 in Skagit County.

The sentence is what is called an exceptional upward sentence, meaning Fritch’s sentence was higher than the standard range for his crimes.

A pre-sentence investigation report — common in cases of sexual assault crimes — stated Fritch had groomed the girl, including by buying her expensive clothes, and several times asked for inappropriate photos of her.

The report determined Fritch was a “higher risk” offender.

When he is released from custody, he will serve three years of community custody and be required to register as a sex offender.

There is also a lifetime no-contact order with the girl.

n A 44-year-old Mount Vernon man pleaded guilty to three counts related to the sexual abuse of a minor.

Jason Anthony Nichols pleaded guilty to one count of third-degree rape and two other charges against the same victim for crimes that occurred over a five-month period between 2017 and 2018, documents show.

Nichols was originally charged with 10 offenses in the case.

He has yet to be sentenced, but court records show prosecutors will ask Nichols serve three years, four months in prison.

Nichols is scheduled to be sentenced in December.

n A 32-year-old transient man was sentenced to four years, six months in prison after pleading guilty to three counts of third-degree child molestation.

Christopher Glenn Webb was originally charged with 20 counts related to sexually assaulting three girls. His sentence is what is called an exceptional downward sentence, meaning it is below the standard range.

Skagit County Superior Court Judge Dave Needy said the downward sentence was not because Webb’s crimes were not serious, but because the sentence will allow him to receive treatment.

One of Webb’s victims spoke in court about how she had grown to trust Webb — which she regretted — and that she would never be able to forgive him.

Needy thanked her for her bravery in speaking at the sentencing.

“I certainly hope you find it within you to forgive yourself,” Needy said. “Because you did nothing wrong.”

— Reporter Kera Wanielista: 360-416-2141, kwanielista@skagitpublishing.com, Twitter: @Kera_SVH, facebook.com/KeraReports

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