Child rape charges have been dismissed against a former assistant teacher at a Gig Harbor-area child care center.
The case against 28-year-old Parker Thomas Trotter was dismissed last week in Pierce County Superior Court.
“It’s been a trying event,” defense attorney Brett Purtzer told The News Tribune. “He’s thankful for all the support that he’s had, and he’s relieved that it’s over.”
A 5-year-old girl told her parents in February 2017 that Trotter had inappropriately touched her during nap time for several months at the Little Steps Christian Learning Center, 3008 36th St. NW, according to charging papers.
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Trotter denied the allegations and pleaded not guilty, and the case went to trial earlier this year.
Superior Court Judge Jerry Costello declared a mistrial in March after the jury couldn’t reach a verdict.
Then Sept. 4, Costello agreed to dismiss the case when the state said it didn’t think a second trial would result in a conviction.
“Rather than proceed to a trial a second time in this matter, at this time, the state is moving to dismiss the instant case without prejudice, subject to re-filing within the statute of limitations,” deputy prosecutor Kara Sanchez wrote in the motion for dismissal.
The child care facility told parents after the allegations that it planned to install closed-circuit cameras and put more staff members in its classrooms.