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News / Northwest

Yakima man, 76, sentenced in child sex abuse case

He was sentenced to more than 3 years in federal prison

By Donald W. Meyers, Yakima Herald-Republic
Published: June 23, 2023, 8:01pm

YAKIMA — A 76-year-old Yakima man will spend slightly more than three years in federal prison after previously pleading guilty to sexually abusing a child.

Raymond Lenard Holt pleaded guilty to abusive sexual contact of a minor in March in U.S. District Court. He was sentenced Wednesday at the William O. Douglas Courthouse in Yakima.

His case was tried in federal court because the victim was a Native American citizen and the crime occurred within the Yakama Reservation.

Holt is accused of touching the child’s buttocks between March 2013 and March 2015 while Holt was volunteering at the after-school program the girl attended. Holt admitted to one instance where he touched the girl, who was younger than 12 at the time, under her clothes.

Prosecutors recommended a sentence in the range of two to five years, with five years of supervised release. In court documents, Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael D. Murphy said the sentencing recommendation was balancing the seriousness of the crime against Holt’s lack of prior criminal history, his military service and his willingness to accept responsibility.

Alex B. Hernandez, Holt’s attorney, argued for a two-year sentence, noting that Holt grew up protecting his younger siblings from an abusive alcoholic father, and has post-traumatic stress disorder from his military service as a U.S. Marine in the Vietnam War for which he is now being treated.

“Considering Mr. Holt’s history and characteristics, a long sentence is not necessary to meet the goals of sentencing,” Hernandez wrote.