WENATCHEE — A convicted voyeur will serve 24 days in jail for failing to register as a sex offender after he was accused of peeping into a family’s window.
Tal R. Vanderpool, 50, pleaded guilty Wednesday to the registration charge but avoided prosecution for voyeurism and criminal trespass, with Chelan County prosecutors saying those counts would be difficult to prove at trial.
Vanderpool, an Arlington construction worker, may serve his sentence in either Chelan or Snohomish County, and is eligible for work release.
He was arrested in April after sheriff’s deputies investigated a February voyeurism complaint in Manson, in which a Furey Road resident called 911 while chasing a prowler on foot away from his home. The complainant later said he spotted the same man in a Manson hardware store and followed him to his workplace — a construction job at a home owned by Vanderpool’s brother.
Deputies questioned Vanderpool, who’d pleaded guilty in 2005 to three counts of residential burglary with sexual motivation and one count of voyeurism in Walla Walla County. In that case, Vanderpool was linked to 15 peeping-tom incidents in Walla Walla, including entering a home and masturbating while he watched a couple sleeping.
He also pleaded guilty in a misdemeanor indecent exposure case in which he exposed himself to a drive-through barista in Marysville. Vanderpool has admitted committing similar offenses since age 14, involving more than 200 victims, according to Washington sex offender registry details.
Vanderpool, a married father of three, completed court-appointed sex-offense counseling in 2007, with his counselor writing that he’d made “satisfactory and meaningful treatment progress.” The counselor said he was at moderate to low risk to reoffend, although the state registry at the time of his arrest placed him at Level III, the highest risk.
He served 90 days in jail and was ordered to register as a sex offender wherever he resided. His attorney Neil Fuller said Vanderpool traveled to and from his brother’s home to work on the renovation.
“The question was, was he here longer than he was allowed or not?” Fuller said.
Vanderpool entered an Alford plea to the registration charge, denying guilt but admitting that a jury would likely convict him. Both failure to register and the dismissed voyeurism charge are Class C felonies; the other dismissed charge, second-degree criminal trespass, is a misdemeanor.
Vanderpool spent six days in the Chelan County Regional Justice Center after his arrest in April. Judge T.W.“Chip” Small sentenced him to a year of supervision once his jail term is over.
“I think this should be a wake-up call to you,” Small told Vanderpool at sentencing. “I hope you share this with your counselor.”