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Student sex offender arraigned on rape charge

Saturday - 4/21/2012, 7:22pm  ET

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) - A 19-year-old registered sex offender with a long history of violations has pleaded not guilty to raping a 14-year-old high school classmate in Vancouver.

Jeremiah C. Thompson was arraigned Friday on a charge of third-degree rape of a child, a Class C felony. He allegedly met the victim, a 14-year-old freshman girl, at the WinCo Foods store just north of Prairie High School. Authorities say they later had sex at Thompson's home.

The sexual activity is a crime because of the girl's age. The age of consent in Washington is 16.

The Prairie freshman told sheriff's deputies that Thompson, who is a senior at the school, met her at Winco and took her to his home to have sex, according to court documents. The girl sought medical attention and requested a rape kit after the incident.

Defense attorney Lou Byrd said he planned to file several motions in the case because of the intense media coverage, saying he worried his client wouldn't receive a fair trial.

Thompson's case has drawn wide attention after The Columbian published a story detailing his history of sex offenses. Following his April 12 arrest, the case raised questions about when parents and students _ who had no idea of Thompson's status _ should be notified that a sex offender attends a school. State law prevents such information from being shared at school.

Thompson was ordered to register as a sex offender after being sentenced in February 2010 for sexually assaulting his mother. He also accepted a plea deal that year _ to a misdemeanor charge of communication with a minor for immoral purposes _ relating to allegations he molested a 7-year-old girl.


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