10 years for Ocean Shores man in child molestation

A 32-year-old Ocean Shores man was sentenced to at least 10 years in jail for molesting a 4-year-old girl. He could spend the rest of his life in prison.

Jose M. Segovia-Barrera, 32, was found guilty of first-degree child molestation in a jury trial March 5 and 6. He was sentenced Monday in Grays Harbor Superior Court.

The girl’s mother discovered the molestation in July of last year, and the girl was able to describe the incident in great detail.

“It is certainly rare to have a child that age be able to articulate abuse in the detail that (the girl) was able to,” Prosecutor Katie Svoboda wrote in her sentencing report.

Segovia-Barrera has consistently denied any wrongdoing, claiming the girl was coached by her mother to incriminate him.

After the molestation was reported, the mother’s boyfriend, James L. Griffin, attacked Segovia-Barrera, spraying him in the face with pepper spray and cutting his throat, arms and back with a knife. Griffin pleaded guilty to third-degree assault and was sentenced to a year and nine months in prison.

For Segovia-Barrera, the standard sentence is four years, three months to five years, six months, but he was given an exceptional sentence because he abused a position of trust with the child.

His attorney, Robert Ehrhardt, asked for the minimum sentence.

“If he had not been (in) a position of trust, it is highly unlikely that he would have been able to commit the current offense,” Svoboda wrote.

Segovia-Barrera has no prior felony criminal history. He filed an appeal after his sentencing Monday.

Relatives reported the girl suffers from social issues and nightmares, according to a pre-trial investigation report.

Segovia-Barrera will serve at least 10 years in prison, but because of the nature of his offense, an Indeterminate Sentence Review Board will decide when or if he is released. He could remain there for the rest of his life.