Everett cop fired after alleged relationship with teen

EVERETT — An Everett police officer was fired in February after he allegedly had a sexual relationship with a teenage girl.

Investigators believe former officer Brian Nelson, 40, met the teen through the school resource officer program, according to the termination letter obtained by The Herald through public records laws.

Nelson, a 12-year veteran of the department, has denied any misconduct and is appealing his termination.

Nelson and his then-wife were both school resource officers for Everett police. The girl, then 16, was a student at the school where Nelson’s wife worked.

His wife apparently was mentoring the teen, who began spending time at the couple’s home.

The girl told investigators she was 16 when she and Nelson first had sex, according to the documents. She said the two repeatedly engaged in sexual activity between November 2010 and April 2011.

At the end of August, the teen told a teacher about the relationship. The teacher notified Child Protective Services, in accordance with state law.

According to police documents, the teen told the officer’s wife about the allegations in June. The woman confronted Nelson, but did not report the alleged relationship to her supervisors at the police department, records show.

Everett police Sgt. Robert Goetz on Thursday said he was not permitted to say if the woman has been disciplined. She has been assigned to other duties and is no longer working in the school resource officer program, he said.

A criminal investigation was conducted by Snohomish County sheriff’s detectives. Prosecutors reviewed the case but declined to file charges. In general, the legal age for consensual sex in Washington is 16.

Everett police also conducted an internal investigation.

Nelson admitted to being alone with the girl on multiple nights but denied any sexual contact, according to the documents. Nelson and his wife no longer are a couple.

In the termination letter, Police Chief Kathy Atwood wrote that Nelson’s conduct was disheartening and a violation of his duty as a police officer to protect the teen from harm.

The decision to fire Nelson was based on the teen’s “credible sworn statement” and “compelling circumstantial evidence supporting (the girl’s) allegations,” the chief wrote.

“Your conduct is unbecoming an Everett officer and fails to meet the high standards of integrity, trust, public trust, and professionalism incumbent upon us all,” Atwood wrote.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com.

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