gavel in courtroom

A Walla Walla man accused of first-degree child rape and other sex crimes entered a stipulated order of continuance Tuesday in Walla Walla County Superior Court, agreeing to follow terms for almost 10 months or be automatically convicted.

Brandon E. Pope, 25, was charged in February 2019 with sexually abusing a girl he knew when she was 11 and 12 years old and while he was 16 and 17.

A Chelan County Sheriff’s Office detective referred the case to the Walla Walla Police Department in December 2017 because the girl and Pope were living in Walla Walla when the abuse allegedly occurred, records stated.

Pope was released from jail in March 2019 on conditions when he pleaded not guilty in court.

His charges remain the same, but they could be dismissed if he follows terms through May 12, 2021.

Terms include not committing new crimes, getting a mental health assessment within 90 days and complying with any treatment required, letting his attorney know about any changes in chemical dependency and/or mental health providers, completing the Domestic Violence-Moral Reconation Therapy, having no contacting with the victim, not consuming any illegal narcotics or unprescribed substance, paying $100 to the Walla Walla County District Court for administration fees and letting his attorney know about any address changes within 48 hours.

If Pope doesn't follow the terms, he faces automatic conviction, which includes possible life in prison and/or $50,000 fine for the first count and up to 10 years imprisonment and/or $20,000 fine for the second offense.

However, his standard sentencing range, based on his criminal history, would be 10-13.3 years in prison for the first count and 2.2-2.8 years for the second.

The judge doesn’t have to follow any recommendations and can sentence Pope up to the maximum allowed by law.

Emily Thornton can be reached at emilythornton@wwub.com or 509-526-8325.

Emily Thornton covers courts and emergency services, as well as other various stories. She has been in the newspaper industry off and on since roughly 1999 and lived primarily on the West Coast, but also Florida and Europe.