PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Kenneth Garrison, the ex-Washington State Patrol lieutenant arrested Wednesday night on child sex abuse charges, was accused of raping a child in 2001.
Garrison, 48, resigned from the WSP in December, and was also a lieutenant colonel in the Washington Army National Guard until Tuesday, when he retired.
In Cowlitz County court documents from 2001, KOIN 6 News learned Garrison was accused of having sexual intercourse with a 5-year-old and was charged with first-degree rape and child molestation.
At the time he lived in Kalama, documents revealed.
The case was dismissed in 2003.
“We dismissed it ‘without prejudice,’ which means if circumstances were to change we would be able to go forward for prosecution. That’s why I have the case sitting on my desk,” Cowlitz County prosecutor Susan Baur told KOIN 6 News Thursday.
“The dismissal is because we weren’t able to go forward with evidence we had at that time.”
Asked if it was an uncooperative witness she said, “It’s way more complicated than. We were not assured if we went to trial we would be able to prove to the jury beyond a reasonable doubt. It probably would have been a not guilty verdict.”
Garrison was hired by the Washington State Patrol in 1989 and became an active patrol officer the following year. In 2003, Garrison was fired. But a state arbitrator in 2008 ordered him re-instated with back pay, WSP spokesperson Bob Calkins told KOIN 6 News.
“When someone is terminated there is an appeal process and in this case the arbitrator who handled that appeal ordered us to rehire Mr. Garrison,” Calkins said. “We honor those arbitrator rulings and we follow their direction really as it were law.”
In 2006, there were more accusations against Garrison. The victim — a girl — gave a statement to police but later recanted. That same victim is now involved in the current case.
A search warrant was served on Garrison Jan. 24 as he was staying at Camp Murray. He was immediately stripped of his military credentials and was arrested five days later in Gresham.
He was arrested at the Rodeway Inn and Suites on NE 181st Avenue in Portland by Clark County deputies with help from the Gresham PD and the East Metro SWAT unit around 8 p.m. Wednesday.
“Our people did assist Clark County and happily so, and we would encourage anyone who has any additional information to get in touch with the Clark County Sheriff’s Office,” Calkins said.
Garrison is being held in the Clark County Jail and is expected to appear in court on Friday.
KOIN 6 News reporter Dan Tilkin contributed to this report.