Text messages written by Officer John Kivlin “indicate a desperation and possessiveness of the victim,” say charging papers, which detail a seven-month affair between the veteran cop and an Issaquah woman.
A veteran Bellevue police officer has been charged with witness tampering, misdemeanor assault and violating a protection order for allegedly attempting to coerce his ex-girlfriend into recanting allegations that he twice punched her in the face in April.
Officer John Kivlin, who has worked for the Bellevue Police Department for 16 years, was charged this past week after an investigation into the alleged assault. Charging documents say Kivlin had been involved in a seven-month long extramarital affair with a 44-year-old Issaquah woman that began in September after the two met on Craigslist.
Both Kivlin, 48, and the woman were married with children. Kivlin and his wife separated in April, and Kivlin had been living in Gig Harbor up until his arrest July 9. He remains in custody at the King County Jail in lieu of $250,000 bail, jail records show.
Between October and February, the charges say Kivlin used a law-enforcement database to run the woman’s name and license-plate number. Over the course of their relationship, the two traded nearly 19,000 text messages, which began as “sexually graphic flirtations,” graduated to “a loving relationship,” and ended with multiple attempts by the woman to break things off, charging papers say.
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In early April, the woman reported being punched in the face by Kivlin two days in a row, with both incidents happening inside a vehicle, the charges say. During the first incident, which happened while they were parked at a play field in Tukwila, she told investigators Kivlin displayed a gun and threatened to kill them both, according to the charges.
The woman took photos of her injuries, which were noticed by her husband and a co-worker despite the woman’s efforts to cover the bruises with makeup, charging papers say.
The woman filed a complaint with Bellevue police in late April, and Kivlin was placed on paid administrative leave once an internal investigation was started, according to the charges and a Bellevue police spokesman. Kivlin was arrested at the time but released when charges were not immediately filed.
The charges say Bellevue police requested that the King County Sheriff’s Office handle the criminal investigation into Kivlin’s alleged conduct.
The woman obtained a protection order against Kivlin in May, and in June, he was present in court when a judge extended the protection order until Aug. 15, the charges say. The order barred Kivlin from having any contact with the woman or knowingly coming within 500 feet of her.
In July, Kivlin repeatedly emailed and texted the woman in violation of the order, begging her to meet him and insisting that they were meant to be together, according to the charges.
One of the text messages included in the charges reads, in part: “Take back what you told them. Just say you didn’t mean it and that it’s a misunderstanding. I promise I will never hurt you again. Just meet with me.”
Senior Deputy Prosecutor David Baker wrote in charging papers that Kivlin engaged in “a disturbing course of conduct that in addition to assaultive and controlling behavior involved the defendant using government resources to look up information about the victim.”
Kivlin’s more recent text messages, Baker wrote, “indicate a desperation and possessiveness of the victim,” which combined with his earlier threat to kill the woman and himself, are extremely concerning.