BELLINGHAM — After spending more than a day and a half deliberating, a Whatcom County Superior Court jury found a Mukilteo man guilty of raping his granddaughter, who lives in Lynden.

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BELLINGHAM — After spending more than a day and a half deliberating, a Whatcom County Superior Court jury found a Mukilteo man guilty of raping his granddaughter, who lives in Lynden.

On Thursday, the jury convicted the 55-year-old man of seven of the eight counts of first-degree child rape. The trial began April 13 before Judge Charles Snyder.

The man’s attorney, Peter Mazzone, said the jury made the wrong decision and plans to appeal its verdict.

A date for a sentencing hearing has yet to be scheduled. The appeal can’t be filed until the man has been sentenced, Mazzone said.

“I think the jury got it wrong, and there will be an appeal,” Mazzone said.

Whatcom County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Jeff Sawyer was unavailable for comment Thursday to say what kind of sentence he will recommend.

The abuse began in 2004, when the girl was 7 years old, and continued until December 2007, Sawyer said in court Tuesday.

The abuse occurred when the man would come to the home of the girl’s parents in Lynden for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s.

He would place his granddaughter on his lap and touch her inappropriately, according to charging documents.

The touching was forceful enough to warrant the rape charge, Lynden Police Chief Jack Foster said.

The girl told her mother about the abuse in July 2008, and she reported it to Child Protective Services. The agency notified the Lynden Police Department, which launched an investigation, Foster said. The man was arrested in Mukilteo in August.

After a court clerk read the jury’s verdict, a Whatcom County sheriff’s deputy placed the man in handcuffs and booked him into the Whatcom County Jail.

In closing arguments Tuesday, Mazzone said the girl’s parents were compelling her to lie and that the grandfather wasn’t at their home in Lynden because his wife worked on many of the holidays.

“It cannot be true,” Mazzone said. “I believe she was put up to say what she said.”

Sawyer rebutted Mazzone’s arguments and said the girl had no reason to lie and the man’s wife worked mornings on many of the holidays, giving them time to drive to Lynden.

“She has absolutely no incentive to lie,” Sawyer said of the child. “Work did not prevent either of them from being in Lynden.”