PRESS RELEASE: Former Orcas Island High School teacher Gerald Grellet-Tinner’s petition for a citizen complaint for a misdemeanor charge against former Detective Stephen Parker was rejected Wednesday, June 20, 2018 by San Juan County District Court Judge Stewart Andrew.
Judge Stewart Andrew wrote that the “Prosecutor’s office has shown no bad faith or inappropriate reasons for not filing charges against Mr. Parker. In short, the court finds there is no abuse of prosecutorial discretion. After considering the seven factors described in CrRLJ 2.1(c), the court concludes the prosecutor’s decision to not file charges is justified. The Petition to file a Citizen’s Complaint against Mr. Parker is denied.”
Grellet-Tinner was seeking the charges based upon a written statement delivered to Deputy Lori Sigman of the Skagit County Sheriff’s Office at her office in Mount Vernon regarding the lack of a relationship between Mr. Parker and the victim/student being investigated in a case regarding the teacher on charges of sexual misconduct in the first degree.
Judge Andrew’s decision is consistent with the decision made by the Skagit County Prosecutor’s Office. That office was asked to make charging decisions by San Juan County Prosecuting Attorney Randall Gaylord. The Skagit Prosecutors declined to file charges in January 2017.
At a hearing on May 30, 2018, San Juan County Prosecutors expressed concern for the student/victim with going through another trial. “She has been victimized enough. There is so little to be gained and so much to lose. It really would be remarkable if this were allowed to happen at the request of the teacher,” said Gaylord.
Prosecutors also said that Grellet-Tinner and his attorney, Nick Power, had a financial motive that tainted the entire process. Judge Andrew said, “Presumably the pending tort claim against the county skews the Petitioner’s judgment. Mr. Parker’s conviction would benefit the Petitioner as Plaintiff in the tort lawsuit. This motive is improper.”
Other complexities were also considered by the court including the long delay since the incident and the fact that Mr. Parker now lives in Florida. “San Juan County has never extradited from another state on a misdemeanor charge, not even from Oregon or Idaho,” Mr. Gaylord explained.