Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole immediately suspended Eric Amadeo Smith without pay pending the outcome of the case. He has been a police officer for more than 20 years.
“As Chief, and as a parent, I am deeply troubled by these allegations,” O’Toole wrote.
Smith is charged with three counts of first-degree child molestation and two counts of communicating with a minor for immoral purposes. Prosecutors filed the charges in Everett District Court. They will have to refile the case in Snohomish County Superior Court in order to move forward with felony prosecution.
Sheriff’s deputies began investigating last month after the girl, 12, told a teacher and principal that she’d been molested from 2009 to 2013, according to court documents.
The investigation uncovered that the girl had been reporting the abuse since she was 7.
Detectives also learned that she recanted the allegations after Smith challenged her in front of her mother.
Smith, 57, was arrested Monday and a judge ordered him held on $150,000 bail. The Bothell man was bailed out of the Snohomish County Jail.
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