Crime

Tacoma man pleads guilty to rape of 10-year-old boy

A man accused of luring a 10-year-old neighbor to his home and raping the boy pleaded guilty Wednesday to first-degree child rape.

Before Pierce County Superior Court Judge James Orlando accepted the plea from Dickie Bergeson, defense attorney Barbara Corey told the court that 63-year-old Bergeson’s IQ is in the low 70s.

“His level of understanding is a lot less than most people who appear before the court,” she said. Still, she added, she had no doubt Bergeson understood the content of the plea statement.

According to charging papers:

Bergeson motioned for the boy to come into his garage, as the child rode a bicycle past Bergeson’s home Aug. 5, 2014.

He showed the boy a pornographic magazine, demanded to have sex and threatened to hurt the child when he said no. Then he sexually assaulted the boy.

Bergeson faces a sentencing range of more than 7 1/2 to more than 12 years in prison, and a lifetime of supervision.

Corey indicated in court that when sentenced later this year Bergeson planned to ask for a Special Sex Offender Sentencing Alternative.

For sex offenders who qualify (they can have no prior convictions of a felony sex offense, among other requirements), the alternative gives them a chance to serve some or all of their sentence out of custody, as they do a sexual-deviancy treatment program.

Their sentences then are suspended, and if they fail to finish the treatment, they can be ordered to serve the original sentence behind bars.

Alexis Krell: 253-597-8268, @amkrell

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