Philip Nolan Lester, Jr. sentenced for Child Rape in the First Degree, Child Molestation in the First Degree

OKANOGAN – On January 8, , the Honorable Henry Rawson a Superior Court sentenced Philip Nolan Lester, 15-1-00009-6, to 205 months (17 years) for Child Rape in the First Degree and Child Molestation in the First Degree. A jury had convicted Mr. Lester on December 3, 2020.

The case had been previously prosecuted to guilty verdicts in 2016 by former Prosecutor Karl Sloan. At the conclusion of that trial, Mr. Lester had been sentenced to 200 months to life. The convictions were later overturned when the Court of Appeals, Division III had ruled that it did not agree with some of the trial court’s preliminary evidentiary rulings. The case was remanded for a new trial.

Chief Criminal Deputy David Stevens prosecuted the case. Mr. Stevens said, “The range on this offense was 162 to 216 months with a presumptive sentence of 189 months. We are pleased that Judge Rawson found several factors such as a total lack of remorse warrant a harsher sentence than the presumptive sentence and sentenced him to 17 years.”

Mr. Stevens again thanked Deputy Prosecutor Felecia Chandler and said that it shows what a team effort can do to protect Okanogan County. He again thanked Detective Deborah Behymer (Ret.) and former Deputy Matthew Stewart. These law enforcement officers no longer work for Okanogan County but, nevertheless, made themselves available for trial. Without their dedication, this outcome would not have been possible. He also thanked Stacie Nicholson who as the Victim/Witness Advocate coordinated making sure that the witnesses in this case would be available and went to great lengths that the victim’s rights under the Washington State Constitution were respected.

Prosecutor Arian Noma said that with our budget and personnel vacancies, every trial is a major strain on the Prosecutor’s Office’s resources. The time and preparation needed to try these cases is a major effort for our entire office. I remain proud of what we can do in our office.

The case was investigated by Det. Deborah Behymer (Ret.) and former Okanogan County Sheriff’s Deputy Matthew Stewart who is now a Spokane City Police Officer.

For more information please contact Arian Noma 509-422-7280 or anoma@co.okanogan.wa.us

 

 

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