A leading Republican candidate for Washington governor is being accused of mishandling a child sexual abuse investigation in Ferry County.
A lawsuit filed in 2017 claims that Loren Culp and two other law enforcement officers didn’t properly investigate the claims of a 17-year-old girl, who said she’d been molested by a relative since she was five.
Culp, who’s police chief of Republic in Ferry County, interviewed the girl, but said in his report that he didn’t think she was being truthful.
After her grandparents got involved, the girl’s charges were then picked up by the Benton County Sheriff’s Office, which led to the arrest of Roy Moore Jr. on child rape, child molestation and incest charges in 2014. He was sentenced to 67 months in jail, and was released last December.
The victim, who is now 23, filed the lawsuit three years ago to make sure what happened to her doesn’t happen to anyone else, according to the Seattle Times, which first reported on the suit last week.
Culp denies the allegations, and says it’s an attempt by his political opponents and left wing media to hurt his campaign.
“It should be obvious to everybody that it’s politically motivated. It's been sitting dormant for three years,” Culp said Tuesday in an interview. “They haven’t done anything on it because there’s no evidence against me on any of it.”
Culp says he did one half-hour interview and left it in the hands of the Ferry County Sheriff’s Office.
“It was a Ferry County case. Not a city of Republic case. I was not in charge of the city of Republic Police Department. I was a narcotics detective,” Culp said. “A deputy sheriff asked if I would come as backup because he was by himself. I showed up for one of the many interviews in that case. That’s the only one I was in on. It wasn’t my decision. It wasn’t my case. It wasn’t anything to do with me other than I was backing up a deputy.”
Culp is a leading Republican candidate for governor, who has out-raised all but one of his GOP opponents with $780,000.