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Seattle Police Officer, Bothell man charged with child molestation

A veteran Seattle Police Department officer was arrested Monday and charged today with child molestation in the first degree and communicating with a minor for immoral purposes.

Eric Smith, a 57-year-old Bothell resident and Seattle Police Department officer for more than 20 years, sexually abused the daughter of his former girlfriend multiple times between 2009 and 2013 while the victim was between the ages of 7 and 11, according to charging documents filed in Snohomish County Superior Court.

A judge ordered Smith be held on $150,000 bail, which is $100,000 less than prosecutors asked for. Prosecutors said they feared Smith was a danger to the community and may try to interfere with the investigation, but the judge said Smith's clean record prior to his arrest led to the lower bail setting, according to charging documents.

Smith is now out on bail.

The Reporter has attempted to find out if the alleged victim is being protected but has not yet had calls returned.

“As Chief, and as a parent, I am deeply troubled by these allegations,” Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole said in a blog for the Seattle Police Department. "I have immediately ordered suspension of the officer, without pay, pending the outcome of the criminal proceedings."

An investigation into Smith was opened two weeks ago after the victim stayed late following a school health class on inappropriate touching and told her teacher about Smith's sexual abuse. The investigation revealed the victim reportedly first disclosed Smith's behavior to her mother when she was 7 years old, but Smith confronted her and she recanted her claims and was punished.

During the following years, the victim told her mother about the abuse two more times, as well as writing notes to her friends and others about it, only to be ignored, according to charging documents.

In addition to sexually abusing the victim himself, including offering to pay her, Smith reportedly tried to get the victim to have sexual encounters with boys her age while he watched.

Smith has been on administrative leave from the Seattle Police Department since the investigation was opened.

 

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