SEATTLE — Police in the Seattle suburb of Renton are conducting a criminal investigation into the King County Sheriff over a former deputy’s accusation that the sheriff sexually assaulted him in 2014.
Renton Police Commander Dave Leibman said Wednesday their findings will be forwarded to county prosecutors in the coming days.
The investigation of Sheriff John Urquhart began in September after Brian Barnes filed a complaint with the King County Sheriff’s Office alleging Urquhart groped him outside a Renton restaurant after the two had dinner together.
After dinner, Barnes said the two walked to the parking lot together and Urquhart told him not to file a complaint or worry about his supervisors. Then, the deputy contends, Urquhart made a pass and fondled him, The Seattle Times reported .
“I was just, ‘Whoa, what are you doing? Stop it!’ and I kind of pushed his hands away,” Barnes said in a recent interview.
Barnes, who worked for the sheriff’s office for nine years, is now a police officer in Massachusetts.
Urquhart denies Barnes’ allegations, calling them “despicable” and politically motivated lies. Urquhart is looking to keep his seat as sheriff in next week’s election.
On Monday, a judge separately issued a temporary restraining order against Urquhart filed by a female ex-deputy who accused him of raping her in 2002.
Urquhart has denied that allegation, and Seattle police cleared him of criminal charges this year.
In her request for the order, the woman alleged that Urquhart’s political campaign offered to share her medical records with at least one group considering whether to endorse Urquhart for re-election.