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SK man denies charges of sexual abuse

A 46-year-old man suspected of fondling his stepdaughter pleaded not guilty to child molestation charges in Kitsap County Superior Court Wednesday.

John Lee Christen was charged with one count of second-degree child molestation, a felony that carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.

According to the police reports, Christen was arrested Sunday, Nov. 23, after his wife reported to Kitsap County Sheriff’s Deputies that her husband of four years had been molesting her daughter, who is under 14 years of age.

He was later booked into Kitsap County Jail under $100,000 bail.

The girl’s mother said her daughter admitted to her that night that Christen had been touching her inappropriately for two years while they stayed up late after his wife went to bed.

The mother said she recently she began noticing her daughter had been losing weight and acting oddly, such as wanting to stay over at friends’ houses as much as possible and seeming “stressed-out.”

Christen’s wife also admitted to deputies that he recently told her that his biological daughter had accused him of sexual abuse, but he claimed the story was fabricated in an attempt to limit her visits with him.

When confronted by the deputies, Christen’s step-daughter confirmed the alleged abuse, saying it began on an infrequent basis, then increased to a nearly nightly occurrence last summer.

She said she did not tell anyone about what happened until now because she was afraid her step-father would be mad.

She said he did not threaten her or hurt her, other than grabbing her roughly.

The girl also said Christen acted “strange” and embarrassed her in front of at least one of her girlfriends, calling the other girl “hot stuff” and wrestling with her.

At his arraignment Monday, Judge Leonard Costello set Christen’s bail at $75,000.

His trial was set for Jan. 20, following a Dec. 7 omnibus hearing.

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