This one hits hard. A Kennewick man and woman were sentenced to years for sexually abusing a child.

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On Thursday 41-year old Bret Michael Emineth was sentenced to 30 years in prison for sexual abuse of a minor and recording the acts. Co-defendant, 37-year old Malesa Hale was sentenced to 28 years in Federal prison for conspiring with Emineth to abuse their victim and record the acts.

Emineth and Hale were ordered to pay restitution to the victim.

Judge Mary K. Dimke also imposed a lifetime of federal supervision for both defendants upon their release from custody. Emineth abused the victim since age 12 and will plead guilty to related charges in Benton County Superior Court.

According to a press release Judge Dimke told the victim:

“You are brave. You are strong. You are courageous. You saved others from the hell that you were subjected to."

The victim reported the abuse to Kennewick Police in 2021. It started with grooming and touching, progressing to sexual intercourse. In 2019, Emineth's girlfriend, Hale, confronted him about the relationship with the victim. Instead of reporting the abuse to authorities, Hale joined Emineth in sexually abusing the young victim.

This case was investigated by the Kennewick Police Department, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Southeast Regional Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC).

Kennewick Police found text messages between Emineth and Hales discussing their sexual abuse of the victim and plans for future abuse of other children.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and CEOS, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

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