Former Ferris High School assistant principal Todd Bender pleaded guilty to child molestation Thursday in order to avoid another three years in prison had an additional charge had been filed.
The standard sentencing range for a charge of third-degree child molestation is between 15 and 20 months. Bender’s plea agreement calls for a 15-month sentence, though a judge is not bound by the agreement. Bender will also have to register as a sex offender.
But the teen also reported being molested by Bender at a lake home in Pend Oreille County in 2011. If Bender had been charged with that crime separately he would have been facing an additional 41 to 54 months in prison on top of the 15 months for the Spokane County crimes, said his attorney, Robert Schiffner. The plea agreement stipulates that the charge will not be filed.
In court Thursday Bender admitted sexually molesting a teenage boy twice in 2011. He also admitted violating a sexual assault protection order by driving by the teen’s house.
Schiffner said Bender made a bad choice and is prepared to serve his punishment.
“I cannot begin to tell you how sorry he is,” he said.
Bender was first arrested in November 2014 and posted $50,000 bond. He has been in the Spokane County Jail since violating the protection order in August 2015 and will remain there until his sentencing on May 27.
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