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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Sirens & Gavels

‘Teacher Grandpa’ sentenced for rape

A man known as "Teacher Grandpa" at a Spokane day care has been sentenced to at least 10 years in prison for child rape.

Eugene R. Wright, 66, is to serve 123 months and undergo a sexual deviance evaluation before he's released, which could mean he stays in prison for the rest of his life.

Wright was arrested in August 2010 for sexually assaulting a 5-year-old girl at the Bigfoot Child Care Center at Spokane Community College.

Wright passed a background check and began working at the center in late June 2010. He was dismissed in mid-August 2010 when a young girl told her mother that Wright had molested her. Another parent told police she’d witnessed inappropriate contact between Wright and the girl.

Wright also worked at the East Central Head Start program from January 2010 until he transferred to the Bigfoot center.

Wright passed a background check through the state Department of Early Learning and was paid a stipend through a Catholic Charities program that finds work for low-income elderly people.

Wright pleaded guilty to first-degree child rape Jan. 27 and was sentenced by Spokane County Superior Court Judge Harold Clarke. He's in the Spokane County Jail awaiting transport to prison.

Spokane police Detective Stephanie Barkley investigated the case. Sgt. Steve Wohl of the sexual assault unit "credits the cooperative efforts among the Daycare on the SCC campus and other criminal justice partners for this very thorough and extensive investigation," according to a news release.

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