A 36-year old Kent man pleaded guilty this week in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to sexual abuse for an August 2020 sexual assault on a 14-year old child, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Tessa M. Gorman.
The DOJ says that defendant Christopher James Kuna was at a gathering with family and close friends in Olympic National Park when he provided alcohol to the victim and committed the sexual assault.
Kuna is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Benjamin H. Settle on Aug. 17, 2021.
According to the plea agreement, Kuna was a trusted family friend of the victim and the victim’s family. During the evening hours of Aug. 24 and early morning of the 25th, Kuna plied the victim with alcohol causing intoxication to such an extent that the victim vomited. Kuna then sexually assaulted the victim. Because he was more than 20-years older and much larger than the victim, the victim was fearful of resisting Kuna. Kuna told the victim he had been thinking about the assault for a long time.
A trusted family friend assisted the family in making a report to local law enforcement. Upon realizing jurisdiction lay within a national park, local law enforcement referred the matter to the National Park Service Investigative Division who took over the investigation.
Under the terms of the plea agreement, the government will not recommend a sentence above 87 months in prison. Judge Settle is not bound by the recommendation and can impose any sentence allowed by law. The maximum penalty is life in prison.
Kuna will be required to register as a sex offender following any prison term.
The case was investigated by the National Park Service and the FBI.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Angelica Williams, Jonas Lerman, and Hilary Stuart.
Life or the death penalty.