Lawyer sentenced for child molestation at Sunday school

VANCOUVER, Wash. — A Vancouver lawyer has been sentenced to more than seven years in prison for sexually molesting a 9-year-old girl in a Sunday School class he taught.

The Columbian reported that Ryan D. Whitaker, 59, plans to appeal his Jan. 31 conviction of two counts of first-degree child molestation. He was sentenced on Friday.

Deputy Prosecutor Jessica Smith said the accusations of abuse divided the congregation at the St. Johns Ward of the Mormon church. The victim’s family moved so she could attend another school and the family could attend a different church.

Clark County Superior Court Judge Robert Lewis found in his verdict that the crimes were aggravated by Whitaker’s position of trust as a Sunday school teacher in the church.

Lewis sentenced Whitaker to 89 months, which is the maximum under the standard range.

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