Warning: The following story contains graphic sexual details.
Christopher Martin Moller, a 52-year-old Orcas Island man, was sentenced to 84 months in prison on April 28 after being found guilty of one count of child molestation in the first degree and four counts of unlawful possession of firearms in the second degree.
Moller was first charged in June 2021 with child molestation in the first degree and four counts of illegal possession of firearms. On Aug. 17, Moller was charged with three counts of possession of depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct in the first degree and one count of possession of depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct in the second degree.
“This was a higher sentence because of the guns,” Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Teresa Barnett explained.
Without the possession of firearms charges the sentence would have fallen between 51 to 68 months.
“He has the potential for life, and he will be reviewed periodically by the Indeterminate Sentence Review Board,” Barnett said.
The Indeterminate Sentence Review Board is similar to a parole board and determines the risk of reoffense if released. The Review Board may impose further conditions, such as electronic monitoring, according to the Judgment and Sentence Order.
In a separate case, Moller has been charged with multiple counts of sex crimes against children. That trial is set for July 11. Should he be convicted of those charges, the board will take those charges into account, according to Barnett.
The victim’s mom addressed the court, detailing the impacts on the victim.
“Due to Mr. Moller, we lost our daughter. She lost herself, and she lost her sparkle,” she said, adding that the victim is moving forward with her life and doing her best to put the matter behind her.
Laura Jung, a long-time friend of Moller, also addressed the court. She stated she had never witnessed anything inappropriate in his interactions with children.
Moller remained steadfast in his innocence, reiterating he would not cause anyone harm. Moller has 30 days to appeal and has filed a Notice of Appeal to the Court of Appeals, stating he is seeking a review by the appellate court.
The sentencing order includes prohibiting Moller from frequenting areas where minors are gathered or where the primary purpose is for children to congregate. He is also restricted in internet usage, and otherwise contacting and associating with minors, particularly unsupervised.
Details of the cases:
A teen and her mother contacted the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office in November 2020 to report an alleged sexual assault that occurred when the victim was between six and seven years old in 2010. According to the probable cause statement, Moller was a family friend and spent time with the victim on Orcas while she lived there as a child.
In the fall of 2020, the victim was prompted to report the two incidents after Moller appeared as a “suggested friend” on Facebook. In spring 2021, the victim accepted a Facebook request from Moller, who then sent the victim a message. In June, Detective Lukas Peter obtained an intercept order signed by Judge Kathryn Loring to begin chatting with Moller undercover using Facebook Messenger. Moller made several attempts to get the victim to meet him, and when Detective Peter, posing as the victim, confronted Moller about touching her, Moller indicated the assault had occurred.
Police obtained a search warrant shortly thereafter for his home and car and arrested Moller. During a recorded interview, he admitted to knowing the victim as a child but denied touching her sexually. A search warrant was executed at Moller’s residence on Orcas, and electronic devices were seized. Printed material of child erotica and other materials pertaining to child sexuality was also located in Moller’s bedroom. In addition, four illegal firearms were found. Moller is not allowed to own weapons after pleading guilty in 1997 to a domestic violence charge.
The electronic devices were sent to Homeland Security Investigations Lab for imaging and analysis. A total of 742 of those files were identified by investigators as containing child abuse material and 6,404 were tagged as “child exploitative/age difficult,” indicating they may contain child abuse material but it was challenging to gauge the ages of the victims depicted.