Thứ Năm, 3 tháng 7, 2014

WA - $150,000 bail set for SPD officer (Eric A. Smith) accused of child molestation

Eric A. Smith charged with child molestation
Eric A. Smith
Original Article


By Jennifer Sullivan

A Seattle police officer accused of molesting his ex-girlfriend’s daughter was ordered held Tuesday in lieu of $150,000 bail.

Officer Eric A. Smith, 57, of Bothell, appeared in Everett District Court on Tuesday afternoon via video feed from the Snohomish County Jail, where he is being held for investigation of alleged child molestation and communication with a minor for immoral purposes.

Snohomish County Deputy Prosecutor Kathy Jo Blake sought $250,000 bail, claiming Smith was an “untreated sex offender.” Smith’s attorney, Soloman Kim, sought a lower bail for the veteran police officer, who was arrested on Monday.
- He is not a sex offender until he's found guilty!

Officer Smith is a 30-year veteran of the Seattle Police Department. He has no criminal history, whatsoever,” Kim said in court Tuesday.

Kim said his client has had no contact with the victim or his ex-girlfriend since October.

District Court Judge Tam Bui found probable cause to hold Smith and granted Kim’s bail request. She also ordered Smith to turn over his passport.

Blake said felony charges could be filed as early as Wednesday.

The allegations came to light after the girl, who is now 12, told a teacher about years of abuse, according to jail booking paperwork released Tuesday by the Snohomish County Prosecutor’s Office. The abuse allegedly occurred when the girl was between the ages of 7 and 11 while Smith was dating her mother.

According to the paperwork, the child had told her mother about the alleged abuse on three earlier occasions.

Blake said in court that when the girl first told her mother about the abuse in 2009, the mother confronted Smith.

The mother and Smith, together, then went to talk to the girl, Blake said. Smith never should have been included in that conversation, she said.

The girl’s mother told investigators that after the first disclosure the girl recanted and was punished by her mother for lying.

The mother told investigators she now believes her daughter might have been coerced by Smith into changing her story, booking paperwork said.

Over the years, the girl told her friends and wrote notes about being abused, the booking paperwork said.

Seattle police personnel records say Smith was hired as an officer in 1983 and has worked as a motorcycle officer since 2002.

The department says he was placed on administrative leave on June 18 when the department became aware of the Snohomish County investigation.

According to a tweet sent Tuesday, Smith remains on paid leave. Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole will re-evaluate his status if he is charged, police tweeted.

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