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Two more charges against accused child molester

A Manchester resident and local businessman charged with child molestation is back in jail this week as the Kitsap County Prosecutor’s Office filed two more charges against him and successfully argued to have his bail increased ten-fold.

Leonard Kent Hibbard, 61, was charged Wednesday with two more counts of first-degree child molestation in Kitsap County Superior Court. On April 1, Hibbard also pleaded not guilty — although it was incorrectly reported in a Port Orchard Independent story on May 12 that he pleaded guilty — to the first count of child-molestation in the first degree.

Each count is a class A felony and carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

Hibbard was released on $25,000 bond last month, but was rebooked into Kitsap County Jail Friday after Deputy Prosecutor Neil Wachter requested Judge Theodore Spearman raise the defendant’s bail to $250,000.

According to Wachter, the court stated it believed Hibbard posed a significant enough risk to the community to warrant the higher bail.

Hibbard’s trial is scheduled to begin June 14.

According to the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Scott Wilson, his office began investigating Hibbard — who owns Hibbard construction and, according to Wilson, was involved with many activities, including youth programs, at the Port Orchard Church of the Nazarene — after an allegation of child rape was reported.

According to Det. Doug Dillard, after the first report at least five additional victims — all girls aged 8 to 11 — have been identified, and a sixth victim, now an adult, has come forward alleging molestation by Hibbard that occurred several years ago.

Wilson said investigators believe that there may be additional victims who may have been afraid to report the offenses.

Anyone with information concerning child sexual assault/ molestation situations, is asked to contact Detective Doug Dil-lard at (360) 337-5617 or (360) 337-7107. All information will remain confidential.

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