A veteran Seattle Police Department officer was arrested Monday after allegedly sexually abusing the young daughter of his former girlfriend over the course of four years.
An investigation into 57-year-old Eric Smith was reopened two weeks ago, when it was revealed that the victim had originally reported abuse at age seven in 2009. The girl reported the abuse to her mother but when confronted by Smith, she retracted her accusation and was punished.
Over the course of four years, the girl told her mother about the abuse on two separate occasions and also wrote notes to her friends regarding the molestation. However, she was continually ignored.
The girl stayed late after a school health class on inappropriate touching and confessed to her teacher about Smith’s actions.
In addition to abusing the young girl, Smith allegedly offered to pay her and tried to convince her to have sexual encounters with other boys her age while he watched.
On Monday, Smith was arrested for investigation of first-degree child molestation and communication with a minor for immoral purposes.
In court Tuesday, a judge ordered Smith to be held on $150,000 bail – some $100,000 less than prosecutors requested. Prosecutors argued that Smith was a danger to the community and may try to interfere with the investigation. However, the judge argued that Smith’s otherwise clean record led him to lower the bail.
Smith has been on administrative leave from the Seattle Police Department since the start of the investigation, after serving more than 20 years as an officer.