Cody Maxey was between 12 and 14 years old and living in Redmond at the time he sexually abused two young family members.

On Wednesday, a 23-year-old Maxey, wearing dark jail clothes and sporting a goatee and a cleanly shaved head, stood before Deschutes County Circuit Judge Wells Ashby and admitted these crimes in a nearly empty courtroom.

For three sex-related felonies involving child victims, Maxey was sentenced to two years in prison to be followed by eight years post-prison supervision, plus he must register as a sex offender.

The case would have taken a much different trajectory had the victims come forward around the time of the abuse, according to prosecutor Matt Nelson.

“Your Honor, this has been one of the most difficult cases for our office to prosecute,” Nelson told the judge. “The issue of course is that the defendant was himself a child at the time of the offenses.”

Maxey was arrested in September following a victim’s disclosure to the victim’s mother. The case was delayed numerous times as the parties negotiated a sentence that accounted for both Maxey’s young age at the time he abused his victims, and the seriousness of what he did.

Following the abuse, Maxey moved from the area and was living in Grand Ronde at the time of his arrest.

He has one prior felony conviction, from Polk County, for delivering marijuana to a minor. He violated his probation for that offense and was sent to prison.

Maxey was represented by attorney Matthew Baughman.

“At the end of the day, these are very serious allegations, but it’s also someone who was very young at the time of the offenses,” he said.

Maxey opted to personally appear in court to enter his plea. He declined the opportunity to give a statement.

“I’m good, Your Honor,” he said.

The case began when a teenage boy told his mother about being abused as a 6-year-old. The boy was interviewed at the Bend KIDS Center, which assists the local court investigating child-related offenses. A second victim, another relative, soon came forward, confiding abuse that took place when she was between the ages of 10 and 12.

The boy’s mother appeared at Maxey’s sentencing Wednesday and wept as she told the judge how her son’s life had been affected. She said she worried she had “failed” her son by allowing him to be supervised by his abuser.

At his recent 16th birthday, amid the fun of a backyard party, the boy broke down crying and ran inside the house, the woman said. It took the boy’s mother 10 minutes outside the bathroom door before she was let in.

“We sat on the floor of the bathroom and talked, for maybe 15 minutes. The tears started flowing,” she said. “He told me he’d had a flashback of what happened. He couldn’t handle the embarrassment, and his friends saw. He’s embarrassed that he’s in this pain.”

The judge appeared moved by the woman’s statement.

“Ma’am, if there was anything I could do to fix this I would,” Ashby told her. “It sounds to me like you’re an amazing mom — what a blessing he has to have you. Tell him how brave the court thinks he is. There’s no shame in this. It’s just horrible when people you trust hurt you. I think about that all the time.”

— Reporter: 541-383-0325,