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Jury convicts former Tacoma police officer of molesting relative

Post by Stacey Mulick / The News Tribune on Sep. 2, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
September 2, 2011 2:41 pm

A Pierce County jury has convicted a former Tacoma police officer of molesting a young female relative several years ago.

The jurors returned their verdict against John H. Parkes, 46, this morning after deliberating for less than a day. They convicted Parkes of four counts of first-degree child molestation and acquitted him of a fifth count.

Parkes, who resigned as a Tacoma police officer in June 2010 after the charges were filed, has maintained his innocence throughout the process and testified in his own defense during the trial, said Casey Arbenz, one of Parkes’ defense attorneys.

“He adamantly denied the allegations,” Arbenz said. “At this point, he feels the system has failed him.”

Prosecutors alleged Parkes inappropriately touched the girl and made her touch him in a sexual manner between 1996 and 2003. The girl’s mother reported the allegations to Tacoma police in early 2010.

The jurors started their deliberations Thursday afternoon and announced their decision this morning. The fact that Parkes used to be a police officer was not mentioned during the trial, the attorneys said.

Parkes was taken into custody after the verdict. He is being held in Pierce County Jail on no bail until he is sentenced Oct. 14, deputy prosecutor Heather DeMaine said.

Parkes faces 12 years, four months to 16 years, six months in prison and a lifetime requirement of registering as a sex offender once he is released.

Arbenz said his client plans to appeal.

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