In the news:
Charges dismissed against mortgage broker accused of assault in Bothell
UPDATE: After this article was published in 2010, a King County Superior Court judge dismissed all charges against Erin Richard Belmore. The original story appears below.
Seattle Times staff reporter
King County prosecutors are considering filing a felony charge against a loan originator for a mortgage bank who allegedly assaulted a woman in downtown Bothell last month.
According to Bothell police, on Feb. 5 the alleged victim and her husband were painting and hanging banners on the storefront of a wine and cheese shop they planned to open in the 10100 block of Main Street.
The woman was standing on a piece of furniture when the suspect, Erin Richard Belmore, 39, of Bothell, is alleged by police to have came out of a nearby tavern, made lewd comments to her, touched her breasts and then grabbed her crotch.
The woman, who asked not to be named, said Belmore pulled her down and slammed her to the ground.
When the woman's husband tried to intervene, Belmore and a friend, a 36-year-old dentist, turned toward him and a fight ensued, according to Bothell police.
The woman said she required medical treatment and physical therapy after the incident. Her husband was not seriously injured, she said. The attack forced the couple to seek a new location for their business because they can't bear to revisit the site of the "horrific event," she said.
Belmore was arrested after the incident and charged with misdemeanor fourth-degree assault in Bothell Municipal Court, court records show. The second man was taken into custody, interviewed and released, police said.
Belmore's attorney, Mark Mestel, said his client pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor. He declined to comment further, writing in an e-mail, "We prefer to litigate the matter in court rather than in the media."
According to Dan Donohoe, a spokesman for the King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office, police initially requested that Belmore be charged with indecent liberties, a more serious felony charge than fourth-degree assault. County prosecutors declined to file that charge against Belmore and referred the case back to Bothell Municipal Court.
On Wednesday, Donohoe said county prosecutors are now reconsidering filing the more serious felony charge.
"We plan on taking another look at the case, interviewing witnesses and seeing if any felony charges apply," Donohoe said.
Officers responding to the incident believed Belmore and his friend were "highly intoxicated," according to Bothell Police Department Capt. Denise Langford.
Christine Clarridge: 206-464-8983
Information in this article, originally published March 11, 2010, was corrected April 2, 2010. A previous version of this story incorrectly identified the man who assaulted the woman as a real-estate mortgage broker.