A Tri-Cities woman is accused of grooming and raping a teammate on her child’s sports team.

The alleged crime came to light in 2019 after several other parents involved with the team spoke up about her behavior toward one of the 12-year-old players, according to court documents.

After nearly two years of delays, her trial is set to begin next month.

Grooming allegations

Richland police began investigating after parents reported that they believed Christian Cody Moran, who was 35 at the time, was having an inappropriate relationship with one of the boys on the team.

Richland police then interviewed the victim’s family and found that the boys became friends and began spending time together the year before.

The victim’s mother told police that things changed in summer 2019 as Moran took more of an interest in her son. She began to overstep boundaries by buying the boy items without talking to his mother first, said court documents.

Investigators say the mother told Moran to stop, but she continued. The mother told investigators Moran then began calling and texting her, asking why the boy couldn’t come to her home. That’s when his parents told Moran to stay away from their child and to stop texting them.

The victim’s father confiscated the boy’s phone and found that Moran had been texting him during the day and late into the night. They told investigators they were concerned Moran was grooming their child, said investigators.

The parents told investigators she was continuing to buy their child gifts during an out-of-town trip. Another parent on the trip became concerned and reported Moran’s behavior to the head of the association, and Moran was asked to leave.

The concerned parent also told police that Moran told her the boy’s parents were “trying to take him away from her,” said the documents.

When she told Moran to stay away from the boy, she said Moran responded, “I can’t do that,” according to court documents.

The concerned parent also described an incident at Moran’s house in which her son had been sleeping over with Moran’s son and the victim. The boy told her that while they were watching a movie, Moran insisted on having the victim “snuggle with her under a blanket.”

Story continues

The victim said Moran’s son became upset and left the room, and she told the victim to stay with her when the other child went to check on him.

When the victim was interviewed by investigators, they said Moran had been trying to take over as his parent and had been communicating with him over Snapchat.

Investigators used a search warrant to find evidence that Moran had been communicating with the child on Snapchat, but they found no evidence of illegal conduct and the case was closed.

About two years later, police were contacted by the victim’s father because the boy wanted to speak with investigators.

The victim provided a handwritten letter saying Moran had raped him prior to the out-of-state trip. The victim said Moran restrained him and threatened to kill his family if he told anyone, according to court documents.

Moran was arrested in March 2021. Investigators say Moran said the victim was like her own son and admitted to sending messages on Snapchat, but denied any wrongdoing.

She was charged with second-degree rape of a child and later posted $150,000 bond.

Her trial is set to begin June 20.

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