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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Man sentenced to 12 years in prison for molesting girls he was babysitting

UPDATED: Fri., May 6, 2022

Mnason Rancourt, 21, reacts as a 9-year-old victim reads a statement to the court on Friday at the Spokane County Superior Courthouse.  (Tyler Tjomsland/The Spokesman-Review)
Mnason Rancourt, 21, reacts as a 9-year-old victim reads a statement to the court on Friday at the Spokane County Superior Courthouse. (Tyler Tjomsland/The Spokesman-Review)

A 21-year-old Spokane man convicted of molesting four young girls he helped babysit in 2019 was sentenced to more than 12 years in prison Friday.

“I am not scared of you,” one of the victims said during the hearing. “I hope you hate everything you have done.”

A jury convicted Mnason J. Rancourt of four counts of first-degree child molestation and one count of attempted child molestation in March.

Rancourt was helping his then-girlfriend – now his fiancée – babysit her family members’ children a few times a week. One girl, 6, repeatedly asked her mom when the couple would come babysit again, raising a red flag for her mother, according to court documents.

When the mother asked her why she was so concerned, the 6-year-old said Rancourt had touched her.

Rancourt had also helped babysit three other girls, ages 6, 7 and 9, who also reported he had touched them once the first child disclosed the abuse to her mother, according to court documents.

He was arrested in October 2019 and charged with numerous counts of child molestation.

One of the victims’ mothers told the court she was proud of her “strong, courageous, smart and brave” daughter for speaking up, which allowed the other children to share what had happened to them as well.

She promised to be at every one of Rancourt’s parole hearings to make sure he won’t assault other children.

The mother told Rancourt she is “eternally wishing you a life of misery.”

The father of one victim admonished Rancourt for forcing the children to testify at trial rather than pleading guilty.

Rancourt, whose family filled the courtroom, cried throughout the hearing.

The standard sentencing for the crimes ranges from 149 months to 198 months, but life in prison was also a possibility.

Amanda Frye, deputy prosecuting attorney, asked that Rancourt be sentenced to the high end of the range, citing the fact that he abused a position of trust when he assaulted the young children.

“These girls are never going to forget what Mnason Rancourt did to them,” she said.

Rancourt’s attorney, Chris Bugbee, noted his client maintains his innocence and is widely regarded as a kind and hardworking young man.

Jennifer Rancourt, Mnason Rancourt’s mother, told the court her son is devoted to his friends and family.

“He has a servant’s heart,” she said, reading multiple Bible verses. “Please show my son mercy.”

Other family members and friends said they don’t believe Rancourt could have committed the crimes.

Bugbee argued Rancourt, who was 18 and 19 at the time of the offenses, should be given a sentence below the standard range due to his age and the lack of long-term grooming involved. He called the sentence “tremendously excessive.”

Rancourt swore to the court he sees the acts of which he’s convicted as “repulsive, wrong and deceitful” while maintaining his innocence.

He said he misses his family, church and being able to help others.

Spokane County Superior Court Judge Charnelle M. Bjelkengren found that Rancourt did violate the children’s trust, and that a sentence below the standard range was unwarranted.

She sentenced him to 149 months in prison.

Rancourt is required to register as a sex offender and pay nearly $1,500 in restitution. He will be on community custody, or probation, for life.

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