A Ridgefield man was sentenced Thursday to nine months in the Clark County Jail for having sex with a 13-year-old boy he met via a free iPhone app that links men looking to hook up.
Jeffrey Scott Boyington, 23, pleaded guilty to child molestation in the third degree. Following his jail term, he will be on community supervision for one year and will have to register as a sex offender for 10 years.
Defense attorney Clay Spencer said Boyington was wrongly portrayed in the media as a predator at the time of his arrest. Spencer said the victim posed as an adult on Grindr — an iPhone app that describes itself as a way to meet “local gay, bi and curious guys for dating or friends” — and his client wasn’t online trolling for children.
Regardless of how the defendant met the victim, Superior Court Judge Robert Lewis said, he obviously realized once he saw the boy that he was not of legal age to consent to sex.
It doesn’t matter if the victim said he could handle his first sexual experience, Lewis told Boyington.
That’s exactly why the law prohibits minors from having sex with adults, the judge said. Even if a minor insists it’s fine, the minor isn’t equipped to understand the consequences.
“It’s up to the adult to say, ‘You can’t handle this,'” Lewis said.
Victim’s mom in tears
The mother of the victim tearfully read a statement to Lewis, saying her son has been in counseling and lives in fear of Boyington, who has been out on bail.
“My son still wakes up in the middle of the night to make sure all the doors and windows are locked,” she told Lewis.
Boyington, who lost his job at a fast-food restaurant last year, has been working at a McDonald’s, Spencer said. He said Boyington plans on attending classes at Portland Community College.
Lewis told Boyington to report within 24 hours. Spencer asked if Boyington could be screened for work release. Lewis said he could, but if he doesn’t qualify he’ll be taken into custody.
Senior Deputy Prosecutor Alan Harvey said after the sentencing that Boyington will not qualify because of the nature of the crime.
Boyington was also ordered to pay $1,300 in restitution to help pay for the cost of the victim’s counseling.
Stephanie Rice: 360-735-4508 or firstname.lastname@example.org