Milton-Freewater man arraigned on child-sex charges

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PENDLETON -- A Milton-Freewater man suspected of viewing and encouraging a child to have sexual contact at a home-operated day care was arraigned this week in Umatilla County Circuit Court.

Jerry D. Simpson, 66, also is accused of having sexual contact with the child, who is a boy younger than 12 years old, according to District Attorney Dean Gushwa.

The crimes allegedly occurred on three occasions between Jan. 1 and July 31 of this year.

Simpson pleaded innocent Monday to a 13-count indictment, which was handed up last week. His trial is scheduled for Oct. 8.

The charges include three counts each of first-degree sexual abuse, using a child in a display of sexually explicit conduct, second-degree encouraging child sexual abuse and third-degree encouraging child sexual abuse. He also is charged with one count of luring a minor.

Simpson was arrested Aug. 11 at his home at 54080 Walla Walla River Road where he and his wife ran a state-licensed child-care facility.

Bail has been set at $250,000.

If convicted, Simpson would face several years in prison.

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