Pierce County prosecutors have dropped molestation charges against a former Curtis High School wrestling coach because the statute of limitations has run out.
Prosecutor Mark Lindquist explained to KIRO Radio's Dori Monson his office charged the defendant with molesting two victims, boys he coached on a wrestling team in 2005.
One of the victims recently reported the alleged molestation to a counselor who then reported it to police. The police investigation revealed a second victim and prior accusations that were similar from 20 years ago. But the statute of limitations had run out and the charges were dismissed, Lindquist said.
"Most felonies have a statute of limitation of three years. In 2009, the Legislature, smartly I think, extended the statute of limitations on sex crimes up to the victim's 30th birthday because victims of sexual abuse often delay disclosing sexual crimes because of embarrassment, shame, or some other factor," explained Lindquist. "The extension of the statute of limitations however, was not retroactive."
KIRO Radio learned Thursday that the defendant works with the Department of Social and Health Services special commitment Center on McNeil Island.
"Well, better to hang out with sex offenders than with kids,"said Lindquist. He added the offenders in the center are the worst of the worst.
"This strikes me as bizarre that somebody accused of molesting boys is getting paid by all of us to work with sex predators at McNeil Island," Dori said.
As a criminal prosecutor, Lindquist said he can't comment on the employment status of the defendant.
DSHS says the man has been an employee since July 2005. Officials will review the situation before deciding whether to allow him to return to work.