Oak Harbor child molester reoffends, but sentence less lenient second time

Gary T. Boyer, 71, pleaded guilty in Island County Superior Court to third degree child molestation.

An Oak Harbor man who received a lenient sentence for molesting a child nearly 30 years ago didn’t get the same deal after his second conviction.

Gary T. Boyer, 71, pleaded guilty in Island County Superior Court in September to child molestation in the third degree.

On Nov. 10, Superior Court Judge Carolyn Cliff sentenced Boyer to 18 months in prison, which is in the middle of the standard sentencing range for the charge.

After a 14-year-old child disclosed what happened, Boyer almost immediately confessed to a deputy and admitted to doing it before.

“You think I would have learned my lesson the first time around,” Boyer reportedly told the deputy.

Boyer hired Matthew Platte, a certified sex offender treatment provider, to assess whether he is an appropriate candidate for a Special Sex Offender Sentencing Alternative, or SSOSA. The program diverts low-risk sex offenders from incarceration to community-based sexual deviancy treatment.

Platte submitted a detailed analysis of Boyer’s risk factors and concluded that he was a low-to-moderate risk of committing future sex offenses against underage girls. He concluded that Boyer was an appropriate candidate for a Sex Offender Sentencing Alternative.

“Incarceration is not necessary from a community protection standpoint,” Platte’s report states. “Being provided with appropriate treatment services, coupled with close community supervision will reduce the likelihood of further sexual offenses.”

The state Department of Corrections also did a pre-sentence investigation report and recommended an 18-month sentence, which Cliff decided to impose.

In 1992, Boyer pleaded guilty to child molestation in the third degree in a case with details very similar to the new offense.

In this earlier case, the judge gave him a rare exceptional sentence far below the standard range. The judge sentenced him to 90 days of work release.

The findings of fact from the 1992 case stressed Boyer’s strong Christian faith and stated that there “is little or no chance the defendant will reoffend.”

The recent report by the mental health provider, states that Boyer admitted during a polygraph examination that he had engaged in sexual contact with a minor decades ago, in addition to the molestations he was convicted of committing.

Boyer didn’t participate in sex offender treatment following the 1992 case, but registered as a sex offender for 10 years.

After he is released from prison, Boyer will need to get an assessment from a sex offender treatment provider and comply with any recommended treatment.