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Seattle police officer accused of molesting ex-girlfriend’s daughter

A judge in Snohomish County has ordered Eric A. Smith, a Seattle police officer, held on $150,000 bail for allegedly molesting his former girlfriend's daughter. He appeared in court Tuesday via video feed from the Snohomish County Jail. (KIRO Radio/Brandi Kruse)

A judge in Snohomish County has ordered a Seattle police officer held on $150,000 bail amid allegations that he molested his former girlfriend’s pre-teen daughter.

Eric A. Smith, 57, of Bothell, was booked into jail Monday on three counts of first-degree child molestation and two counts of communicating with a minor for immoral purposes, according to jail records.

Prosecutors have until Thursday to formally charge Smith in the case.

During a court appearance on Monday, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Kathy Jo Blake asked a judge to hold Smith on $250,000 bail, calling him a danger to the community and an “untreated sex offender.”

“I believe the defendant presents a risk to interfere with the administration of justice,” Blake said.

A judge, however, ordered a lower bail after Smith agreed to surrender his passport and have no contact with the alleged victim.

According to the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, which was the investigating agency, the officer is accused of molesting his former girlfriend’s daughter on multiple occasions between 2009 and 2013, starting when the girl was 7 years old.

The victim disclosed the alleged abuse to her teacher after health class earlier this month, according to court documents. The teacher reported the abuse to the school’s principal, who contacted police.

“The victim disclosed this abuse to her mother, friends and school staff verbally and in writing over the years,” the documents read. “The victim recanted her initial disclosure when she was 7 after being confronted by the suspect in front of her mother, but has since confirmed that the abuse did occur and continued to occur in his home until the age of 11.”

Ron Smith, president of the Seattle Police Officers’ Guild, said he was made aware of the investigation into one of his members earlier this month.

“I’m actually shocked by the allegations,” Smith said late Monday. “I’ve known this officer for 20 years, and anybody would be shocked by this.”

“If these allegations do end up being true, he should be held accountable just like anybody else, and the department will take any steps that they deem necessary, and we will deal with that at the time,” he said.

The Seattle Police Department released the following statement about the arrest:

A member of the Seattle Police Department has been arrested by the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office on criminal charges related to off-duty conduct. The officer was placed on administrative leave on June 18, 2014 when SPD was first made aware of the investigation.

A department spokesperson spoke about the arrest at an unrelated press briefing Monday evening.

“The officer has not been charged,” Sgt. Sean Whitcomb told reporters. “If that officer is charged, Chief (Kathleen) O’Toole is going to take that information and evaluate it.”

The suspect a 30-year veteran of Seattle PD, joining the force in 1983. According to Smith with the guild, he was a longtime motorcycle officer with a stellar record.

KIRO Radio’s Brandi Kruse contributed to this report.

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