A Bothell police detective was found not guilty of three counts of first-degree sexual misconduct with a minor in connection with allegations made by a former Bothell High School student.
It took a King County jury about two hours Tuesday to acquit a Bothell police detective on three counts of first-degree sexual misconduct with a minor in connection with allegations made by a former Bothell High School student.
Jurors heard testimony over three weeks in the case against Detective Dione Thompson, 46, who has been on paid administrative leave since the allegations were first made against her in September 2014.
“She’s been consistently vehement about her innocence,” said Thompson’s defense attorney, David Allen, who said his client refused to even entertain the possibility of a plea agreement.
“There was no sex” between the detective and a then-17-year-old student in 2010 and 2011, when Thompson was a school resource officer at Bothell High School, Allen said. Instead, the detective was like a “big sister” and mentor to the teen, who initially came out as a lesbian before later transitioning to male, he said.
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“She’s just tremendously relieved,” he said, noting that had the jury found Thompson guilty, she would have been jailed immediately pending sentencing and faced 4½ years in prison.
“She’s very thankful the system worked and is looking forward” to returning to her career in law enforcement, Allen said.
“The jury gave the case careful consideration and we respect the jury’s decision,” said Dan Donohoe, a spokesman for the King County Prosecuting Attorneys Office.
Though 16 is generally the age someone can consent to sex, the age limit is 18 in cases where an accused is in a position of authority or has a supervisory position over a juvenile.
An internal investigation by Bothell police was put on hold while the criminal case proceeded.
In an emailed statement Tuesday, Sgt. Cedric Collins, a spokesman for the Bothell Police Department, said Thompson will remain on paid leave until the department concludes its internal investigation.
“At that time, the Police Department will determine what, if any, disciplinary actions it will take,” Collins wrote.
According to charging documents, the allegations against Thompson came to light in August 2014 when the alleged victim emailed Thompson’s former domestic partner and claimed that Thompson had sexually manipulated him, the papers say. Thompson’s former domestic partner — who according to Allen is a psychologist working for a local school district — was required by law to report the allegations of abuse to police.
The case was investigated by the King County Sheriff’s Office because Thompson once lived in Shoreline, where the alleged victim, then 22, claimed some of the abuse occurred.
Detectives interviewed the former student, who claimed he had sex with Thompson when he was 17 and 18, the charges say.
The former student moved in with Thompson and her partner for about six months in 2011 because of turmoil related to his parents’ divorce and he claimed Thompson abruptly ended their sexual relationship in February 2011, the charges say.
Allen said the alleged victim testified at trial and many of his accounts of sex with Thompson “didn’t make any sense.” Testimony presented at trial also showed the alleged victim researched the statutes for sexual misconduct with a minor before making his allegations, he said.
Allen also said the alleged victim claimed the two had sex at Thompson’s parents’ house in Arlington — but he testified he went there for the first time in summer 2011 after saying the sexual relationship ended that February. Essentially, “he was caught in a lie,” Allen said.