WENATCHEE — A former Snohomish County deputy prosecutor who was fired for intoxicated behavior at a state attorneys’ conference at Lake Chelan earned four days in jail Tuesday after pleading guilty to charges of assault and reckless driving.
Christopher Dickinson, 55, must undergo alcohol abuse and sexual deviancy evaluations, even though a charge of fourth-degree assault with sexual motivation was amended to misdemeanor assault.
At his plea and sentencing Tuesday in Chelan County District Court, Dickinson apologized to the fellow prosecutor he groped in a June 20 Lake Chelan hotel-room gathering. He referenced his “totally idiotic behavior that night.”
“This case had nothing to do with sexual motivation,” he told Judge Roy Fore. “It was what I think was drunken roughhousing.”
The Arlington lawyer was fired last July by Snohomish County Prosecutor Mark Roe after an internal investigation into the events at the Washington Association of Prosecuting Attorneys’ three-day training conference at Campbell’s Resort. At an after-hours gathering on the first day of the conference, Dickinson groped the breast of a female coworker and attempted to pull her onto his lap. He was photographed at the same event with a different woman, his girlfriend, who was intoxicated and apparently unconscious, lying on his lap with her breasts exposed.
Later that night, Chelan County sheriff’s deputies found Dickinson drunk behind the wheel of a parked car outside their Chelan substation. They arrested him on suspicion of physical control of a vehicle while intoxicated. His girlfriend, a Snohomish County juvenile probation officer, also was arrested while boating that night, and pleaded guilty to reckless operation of a water vessel.
“This was a pretty serious allegation, given Mr. Dickinson was formerly a prosecutor,” said Chelan County deputy prosecuting attorney Marcus Foster. “… I think the public expects prosecutors to behave in a higher standard than the general public, but I didn’t treat this case any differently than I would for anyone else.”
“This is a one-time slip for him that has come with some very drastic consequences for him — professionally, socially, and just emotionally,” said Dickinson’s lawyer, Justin Titus of Wenatchee. “Not only did he obviously lose his job as a deputy prosecutor, but he may face consequences from the Washington State Bar Association.”
“I had too much to drink,” Dickinson told Fore. “I obviously voluntarily chose to drink too much. The Prosecuting Attorneys Association chose to overserve me. I’ve lost my job and career of 29 years. I’ve lost a lot of friends. I’ve been subject to endless and relentless media coverage that’s been inaccurate and hurtful to my family, and we can see it still goes on today.”
Dickinson must report to jail within the next few weeks, and spend two years on supervised probation. He was barred from contact with the victim, and fined a total of $1,200. For the vehicle charge, he will lose his license for 30 days.
This story originally appeared in iFiber One News, an online news outlet based in Wenatchee and Ephrata.