The felony charge of second-degree child rape against Forks Police Officer Erik Hanson, 33, was reduced last week to a two misdemeanor counts of communicating with a minor for immoral purposes.
Hanson also was allowed to return to Iraq to finish his National Guard service prior to his Aug. 28 arraignment in Clallam County Superior Court.
Hanson was arrested and booked into Clallam County Jail on April 23 on a charge of second-degree child rape following a a three-month investigation by the Clallam County Sheriff's Office and Forks Police Department.
On April 24, Hanson appeared before Clallam County Superior Court Judge Ken Williams and his bail was set at $5,000.
Then on April 28, Hanson appeared before Clallam County Court Commissioner Gary Sund where he waived his right to a speedy indictment.
According to court documents, Hanson allegedly communicated with the then-12-year-old victim for "immoral purposes of a sexual nature" from June 25-Aug. 18, 2008, and from Aug. 29-Oct. 10, 2008.
The charges are gross misdemeanors, which carry a maximum punishment of one year in jail or a $5,000 fine or both plus restitution, assessments and court costs.
The investigation began in February 2009 after a 12-year-old girl accused Hanson of "inappropriate sexual contact," according to Clallam County Det. Sgt. Lyman Moores.
Reach Brian Gawley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Sequim Gazette is located at 147 W. Washington Street in Sequim.
Business hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Phone 360-683-3311, or toll free at 800-829-5810. FAX 360-683-6670.
For a complete company directory with contact information please click HERE.