Update 11:48 a.m.: Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole released this statement about Officer Eric A. Smith, who was charged today with five criminal counts stemming from child abuse allegations.
“I have just been informed that the Snohomish County Prosecutor has filed charges against a Seattle police officer for multiple counts of Child Molestation and Communicating with a Minor for Immoral Purposes.
“As a Chief, and as a parent, I am deeply troubled by these allegations. I have immediately ordered the suspension of the officer, without pay, pending the outcome of criminal proceedings.”
Original post: Seattle Police Officer Eric A. Smith, who is accused of molesting his ex-girlfriend’s daughter, was charged today with five criminal counts in Snohomish County District Court.
Smith, 57, was charged with three counts of first-degree child molestation and two counts of communication with a minor for immoral purposes. The longtime police officer was released from the Snohomish County Jail on Tuesday night.
As is standard in Snohomish County, Smith was charged in district court. The filing deadline for filing the charges in Snohomish County Superior Court is July 18. Once those charges are filed, additional information on the allegations will be released by the prosecution.
Evidence released thus far indicates that the abuse allegations came to light after the girl, who is now 12, told a teacher about years of abuse, according to booking paperwork released by prosecutors earlier this week. 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.
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.