A 16-year-old boy is being held in the Spokane County Jail in lieu of $25,000 bond, accused of raping a 4-year-old neighbor girl and molesting her older sister.
Detectives arrested Michael H. Dogherra on Aug. 18 after the girls told their parents he sexually abused them, court records state.
Dogherra, who has pleaded not guilty, is charged with one count each of first-degree child rape and first-degree child molestation. Prosecutors will try him as an adult.
Deputy Prosecutor Ed Hay said Friday that Dogherra has no previous criminal record.
The girls were abused Aug. 15 at Dogherra’s home in the Indian Trail neighborhood of northwest Spokane, detectives said. The victims live a few blocks away.
They told investigators Dogherra asked them to come to the side of his house in the 4400 block of West Shawnee about 4 p.m. so “nobody could see us.”
Dogherra’s mother, Stephanie Sertich, refused to let investigators question her son and requested a lawyer for him when they arrived at her home, an affidavit states.
Attorney John Nollette, who is representing Dogherra, declined to discuss the case Friday.
“I just got the case recently and really haven’t had a chance to study it,” Nollette said. “But everyone is presumed innocent in this country.”
On Nollette’s advice, Sertich declined comment.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter
Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.