Probable cause exists to charge King County Sheriff with sex crime, says new report
November 22, 2017
King Country Sheriff John Urquhart
(SEATTLE, WA.) -- Probable cause exists to charge King County Sheriff John Urquhart with an alleged sexual-assault crime dating back to three years ago.
The Seattle Times reported, based on a Renton police investigator's statement, that a case is being forwarded for review of charges of "the felony crime of Sexual Indecent Liberties…Assault with Sexual Motivation.”
The report says the investigator's sworn statement, obtained this week under a public records request, outlines the reasons the investigator believes that Urquhart should be charged with an offense after a nearly two-month investigation "into groping allegations by former deputy Brian Barnes."
Urquhart has vehemently denied Barnes’ allegations. He says they are politically motivated, noting that he'd fired Barnes for dishonesty three years ago and that he, Urquhart had taken and passed a private polygraph exam during which he denied the allegations.
Urquhart has filed a defamation lawsuit against Barnes.
It has not been made clear if independent evidence exists of Barnes' claim other than the former deputy's word that the incident occurred.
Urquhart recently lost his re-election bid to Mitzi Johanknecht, a 32-year veteran deputy with the county.