Police Looking for More Victims in Minister Abuse Case

By Casey McNerthney
Seattle Pi
May 16, 2012

A Seattle minister and former foster parent whom prosecutors say sexually assaulted multiple children may have additional victims who haven't come forward, police said.

King County prosecutors contend Timothy L. Dampier sexually assaulted at least three boys and likely molested many more. Dampier, formerly a licensed foster parent, had been employed by at least eight organizations serving children.

Police said his work included time at Samuel House, a Kent group home, and the Union Gospel Mission. When Dampier was arrested he was working at the Bellevue Boys and Girls Club, but was suspended after the investigation was launched.

"We want to ensure that any and all victims receive not only the assistance they need, but justice," Detective Jeff Kappel said in a statement. "Just because the suspect is in custody is not a reason to not come forward with information about additional crimes that may have been committed.

"We are very interested in identifying and interviewing any additional victims who remain unknown at this time."

The investigation of Dampier was launched in April after an alleged victim came forward with a report that Dampier repeatedly sexually assaulted him during his pre-teen years.

"Dampier is reportedly a minister who is heavily involved as a musician in multiple Central Seattle-area churches," Seattle Detective Donna Stangeland told the court. "He also has a history as a licensed foster parent, a counselor in various group homes, and as an employee of various charitable organizations."

Stangeland noted that Dampier had been investigated on suspicion of inappropriate sexual contact with children at least four times. Those investigations were abandoned after the alleged victims and witnesses refused to cooperate.

In April, a now-21-year-old man reported Dampier molested him multiple times when he was 10 to 13 years old, Stangeland said. The man also told investigators he'd seen Dampier touch other children inappropriately.

According to charging documents, a minister at the Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church arranged a 2010 meeting between Dampier and the man. During the meeting, Stangeland told the court, Dampier admitted to "playful" touching but denied any molestation.

Dampier and his ex-wife were foster parents registered with the state from 1999 until 2003, Department of Social and Health Services spokeswoman Sherry Hill said last week. Dampier abandoned the license following the couple's divorce.

Contacted by detectives on May 4, Dampier allegedly admitted to molesting several children during the early 2000s.

"It is anticipated that numerous unknown victims exist, due to Dampier's report that there were children involved in playing a sexual game with him whose names he can't remember, and his numerous contacts with multiple children, including his employment at multiple licensed group homes," Stangeland told the court.

Police have publicly asked that anyone with information, even those who want to remain anonymous, contact detectives at (206) 684-5575.

Dampier is scheduled to be arraigned on May 23 at the King County Courthouse. He is currently jailed on $500,000 bail.



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