Moore molestation charges dropped

A molestation charge filed against former Port Orchard City Councilman Tye Christopher Moore was dismissed earlier this month after attempts to locate key witnesses were unsuccessful, according to documents filed in Kitsap County Superior Court.

Moore, who left his City Council seat in June of 2006 after being charged with fraud, was arrested Feb. 10 for the alleged child molestation just weeks after being released from prison following his forgery conviction.

According to the Port Orchard Police Department, officers learned of the suspected abuse after a sibling of the victim — a female under 14 years of age — reported it to police.

When interviewed by a member of the Kitsap County Prosecutor’s Office’s Special Assault Unit, the victim reportedly confirmed the abuse.

She said on two occasions since Moore was released from Peninsula Work Release, he had touched her in a sexual manner.

Four years prior to that, she said he had exposed himself to her.

Moore was then charged with one count of second-degree child molestation and scheduled for trial on May 5. However, prosecutors soon lost contact with both the victim and another material witness — Moore’s wife Elizabeth.

“Since April 14, the state has made diligent efforts to locate its material witnesses,” wrote Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Kevin Cure in his filing to dismiss the charge against Moore. “Det. Joe Marsh of the Benton County Sheriff’s Office (which has jurisdiction over the Tri-Cities area), who works in conjunction with the U.S. Marshals Office, has spent a significant amount of time looking for them, along with the POPD.”

Cure said law enforcement had received several reports regarding the witnesses’ whereabouts, which included residences in Richland, Woodinville, and British Columbia. He said Canadian authorities had also attempted to locate the witnesses to no avail.

Ultimately, arrest warrants for both witnesses were filed in Kitsap County Superior Court in April, but law enforcement officers were unable to locate the pair. In prior discussions with the witnesses, prosecutors said they indicated they would not leave the state and intended to comply with legal requests to appear.

Trial continuances were requested, but ultimately Cure filed to dismiss the charges.

“The witnesses have not been located and the state is unable to proceed without their testimony,” Cure wrote.

The charge was dismissed earlier this month “without prejudice,” meaning it could be re-filed at some point.

Moore was elected to the Port Orchard City Council in November of 2005, and had barely served six months in June of 2006 when Kitsap County Prosecutors accused him of forging checks from a home construction business to pay for personal expenses and his political campaign.

He was convicted in October of 2006 of seven counts of forgery and one count each of first-degree and second-degree theft, and sentenced to 25 months in prison.

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