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Tacoma district state trooper charged with failing to report child abuse

Post by Adam Lynn / The News Tribune on Dec. 12, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
December 12, 2012 2:31 pm

Pierce County prosecutors have charged a Washington state trooper with two counts of failing to comply with mandatory reporting laws, alleging that he waited nearly three weeks to report child-abuse allegations against his father.

Justin Hamrick, 25, has been summoned to Pierce County Superior Court on Christmas Eve for arraignment.

Prosecutors contend Hamrick learned June 4, 2011, that his father, Scott Hamrick, allegedly was abusing two of the elder Hamrick’s adopted daughters at the family home in Eatonville. Scott Hamrick, a lieutenant with a local fire district, later committed suicide.

Justin Hamrick allegedly spoke to his mother about the allegations and told her to do something immediately or he would, court records show. His mother, Drew Ann Hamrick, said she couldn’t wouldn’t report her husband of 24 years to authorities but would demand that he move out of the family home, the records show.

Justin Hamrick later met with his older brother who told him he must report the abuse, court records show.

“It was only after this ultimatum that the defendant agreed to report the matter,” the records show. Hamrick and his brothers went to sheriff’s deputies with the allegations June 28, the records show.

Law enforcement officers are bound by law to immediately report any allegations of child abuse or neglect they are made aware of.

“Our mandatory reporting laws exist to help protect our children,” Prosecutor Mark Lindquist said today. “Law enforcement officers in particular are expected to follow our laws.”

Efforts to reach Hamrick’s attorney were not immediately successful.

Drew Ann Hamrick pleaded guilty last month to witness tampering and unlawful imprisonment in the case and was sentenced to a year and a day in prison.

Justin Hamrick hired on with the State Patrol in May 2008 and was commissioned as a trooper in 2010. He works patrol in the Tacoma district but was placed on paid administrative leave when the allegations against him came to light, said WSP spokesman Bob Calkins.

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