On Wednesday the Pierce County Prosecutors Office announced it has charged 25-year-old Justin Hamrick - a Washington State Trooper - with two counts of failure to comply with mandatory reporting laws. Court documents filed in the case. Allege Hamrick waited nearly a month to come forward with information linking his father - a former Pierce County firefighter - to the sexual abuse of his adopted stepsisters.
According to court documents, Hamrick's mother - who was eventually arrested along with her husband for child rape, assault, child neglect, and domestic violence - told her son of his father's abuses at a birthday party on June 4. But Justin Hamrick waited until June 28 to tell police about it.
As a state Trooper, Hamrick was required to immediately report child abuse or neglect if there was reasonable cause to believe the abuse occurred. In court documents, prosecutors point out Hamrick waited almost a month to do so, and came forward only when prompted by an ultimatum from one of his brothers, who also knew of the abuse allegations against his father.
"Our mandatory reporting laws exist to help protect our children," said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist in a press release distributed to the media. "Law enforcement officers in particular are expected to follow our laws."
According to the Pierce County Prosecutor's Office press release:
The Pierce County Sheriff's Department launched an investigation of Drew [Justin Hamrick's mother] and Scott Hamrick [father] for alleged sexual and physical abuse of four of their adopted daughters. During forensic interviews, the two youngest victims, then 12 and 14 years old, disclosed that Scott Hamrick started sexually abusing them around age five or six. The abuse continued until the girls went to live with a relative in early 2011. The victims also reported repeated instances of physical abuse by Drew Hamrick. Additionally, the Hamrick's two oldest daughters disclosed that Scott Hamrick had sexually abused them when they were younger.
On June 30, before the investigation was completed and charges were filed, Scott Hamrick committed suicide. In November of 2012, Drew Hamrick pled guilty to three counts of Tampering with a Witness and one count of Unlawful Imprisonment and was sentenced to one year in prison.
Court documents provide more detail:
In his statement, the defendant reported that he was at a birthday party on June
4, 2011, when his mother told him that his father had been molesting his step sisters [redacted] for the last five years. He stated that his mother told him that his father had touched them "down there" and that he had orally touched them "down there." The defendant indicated that he told his mother that she had to report the matter to police or he would have to. His mother said that she couldn't throw her husband of 24 years into jail. The defendant reported that he then told his mother that she would have to do something immediately, or he would. She said she would have him move out of the home until they can figure it all out. The defendant reported that he had spoken to his mother on two other occasions since the initial disclosure, and his mother told him that his father was living in a trailer. The defendant indicated that he had spoken with his younger brother, who also knew of the abuse, on June 16, 2011, about the situation. He then spoke to his older brother and then reported the matter as required by law.
The defendant's mother was charged with several crimes related to these events. In the course of trial preparation on those matters, the undersigned attorney sat through interviews of this defendant's brothers and several other witnesses. The defendant's older brother reported that when he learned that the defendant was aware of the sexual abuse he demanded that they meet to discuss the matter. This meeting took place on June 28, 2011. The defendant's older brother reported that he told the defendant that if he did not call to report the abuse immediately then he was going to call. It was only after this ultimatum that the defendant agreed to report this matter.
Q13 Fox reports Justin Hamrick has been placed on paid administrative leave from the Washington State Patrol. He's scheduled to be arraigned Dec. 24.