A Battle Ground man who formerly served as a “lunch buddy” at Daybreak Primary School has pleaded guilty to child molestation and is now facing up to life in prison, according to court documents.
On Feb. 6, Blake Hoffman, 19, entered guilty pleas for one count of indecent liberties with forcible compulsion and one count of first-degree child molestation, according to court documents. Hoffman initially faced charges including molestation, rape and communication with a minor for immoral purposes.
Hoffman had initially pleaded not guilty to the original charges and remained out of custody up until changing his plea.
According to a probable cause affidavit for Hoffman’s arrest, in December the Issaquah Police Department alerted the Battle Ground Police Department of “inappropriate” photos on a minor’s phone allegedly sent by the suspect. Following interviews with the victim and their sibling, investigators determined that both children and Hoffman had been sending photos to each other.
Further interviews of the suspect had Hoffman admit that he had sexual contact with one of the victims, according to the affidavit. It stated the incidents occurred between May and November of 2018. According to the affidavit, the victims were 11 and 9 years old at the time of the incidents.
Though an affidavit was filed, Hoffman was not arrested for the charges, instead answering a summons and making a first appearance April 2, according to the state court database.
The charges against Hoffman were brought to light following a June 11 letter from Battle Ground Public Schools, informing student families that a former “lunch buddy” volunteer mentor was suspected of rape of a child. Previously district spokeswoman Rita Sanders had said Hoffman was not a volunteer with the district in the 2018-2019 school year. The letter stated that the Battle Ground Police Department told the district there was “no indication” that any of the alleged activity occurred on school district property.
According to court documents the maximum sentence for the two counts are life in prison each. Hoffman will also have to register as a sexual offender in Washington.
Hoffman’s sentencing is scheduled for March 27.