Ex-WSD employee pleads guilty to child rape

Former custodian, bus driver, union president faces 10 years to life in prison

Larry Guenther

A longtime Washougal School District employee and former president of the Public School Employees of Washougal union, has pleaded guilty to raping and molesting a young child nearly 20 years ago.

Larry Patrick Guenther, 58, entered guilty pleas Oct. 19, for the first-degree rape of a child and first-degree child molestation.

Guenther is accused of molesting and raping the child for approximately four years, starting in the late 1990s, when the boy was about 8 years old.

Guenther told Washougal police on Feb. 14, 2017, that he thought he molested the victim about 75 times, but police said they believe the number is likely much higher.

Guenther resigned from the Washougal School District, where he worked as a warehouse employee, on Feb. 15, 2017, one day after talking to Washougal police, and cited “personal reasons” as the cause of his resignation.

Washougal School District Human Resources Director Marian Young said Guenther worked for the district from February 1994 to February 2017. In his most recent position with the school district, Guenther was in charge of receiving goods and food for cafeterias and delivering them to schools.

Guenther worked as a substitute bus driver for the Washougal School District from June 1993 to February 1994, when he was hired permanently. Young said Guenther continued to work as a part-time bus driver, driving several different routes, through May 1996.

Guenther was a part-time playground assistant at Hathaway Elementary School, from May 1994 to October 1995, and a part-time evening custodian at Hathaway from November 1994 to May 1996.

Young said Guenther was a part-time custodian at the Washougal School District bus barn from February 1995 to October 1995, and worked part-time as a custodian at the school district office from May 1996 to August 1996.

He was a full-time evening custodian at Washougal High School from August 1996 to November 1996, and worked as a full-time  day custodian at Gause Elementary School from November 1996 to August 2014. Guenther worked in the school district warehouse from August 2014 to February 2017.

Young noted that from February 1994 to August 1996, Guenther worked multiple part-time jobs.

Vanessa Pinpor, the Vancouver regional office coordinator for the Public School Employees of Washington, said Guenther served as president of the Washougal Chapter of Public School Employees of Washington/Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1948 from Sept. 3, 2014, to Feb. 15, 2017.

Guenther, 58, is lodged in Clark County Jail and scheduled to be sentenced at 1:30 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 28, in Clark County Superior Court. He faces a minimum prison sentence of 10 years for the rape charge and 5 and 1/2 years for the molestation charge. Both charges carry a maximum sentence of life in prison.