Man pleads guilty to molestation, child porn

A Clinton man is facing a minimum of eight years in prison after admitting to committing sex crimes against children, according to court documents.

Jeffrey C. McCord Jr. pleaded guilty in Island County Superior Court Dec. 20 to child molestation in the first degree, possession of depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct in the first degree, communicating with a minor for immoral purposes and extortion in the second degree. The charges for child molestation and communicating with a minor were crimes of domestic violence.

The sentencing hearing is set for Feb. 3.

Under the terms of the plea bargain, the prosecution and defense will recommend a “determinate plus” sentence of eight years to life in prison. That means he will serve the minimum term and then a state Indeterminate Sentence Review Board will decide if he should be released.

The case began as a Homeland Security investigation into the distribution of child pornography through the Kik messaging app. Investigators found that McCord shared files of child pornography with other members of one of the Kik groups, according to Hawley’s report.

On April 19, Homeland Security agents and a Bellingham police detective who was working with them served a search warrant on McCord’s home in Clinton. McCord confessed to having child pornography.

During the investigation, a child disclosed that McCord had molested her, court documents state.

While McCord was in jail, he asked his mother to help him extort a Bellingham man. The conversation was recorded by the jail; the jail posts signs that warn people that their conversations are recorded.

Based on that, the judge had increased McCord’s bail from $125,000 to $250,000.

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