PORT ANGELES — A Port Angeles-area businessman who was released Wednesday on his own recognizance has been accused of child sexual assault.
William Walter Lattin, a certified public accountant who turns 82 Sunday, was jailed late Tuesday evening for investigation of two counts of first-degree child molestation and one count of first-degree child rape, both Class A felonies.
Clallam County Superior Court Judge Simon Barnhart set a 1 p.m. hearing Friday for the prosecuting attorney’s office to file charges against Lattin, who moved to Clallam County about 13 years ago from Las Vegas, he told Barnhart.
Barnhart, rejecting Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Zachary Snipe’s argument for $100,000 bail, found probable cause for Lattin’s arrest, releasing him on his own recognizance until his hearing on condition he not drink alcohol, leave the state of Washington or have contact with the alleged victim or minors younger than 16.
“These are serious charges with serious consequences,” Barnhart said.
Lattin has no criminal history, has shown no risk of failing to appear for court hearings, is not alleged to be a danger to the public and has “a very successful history as a businessperson,” Clallam Public Defender attorney John Hayden said, arguing for no bail.
“I think the [court] rules are pretty clear that the court has to very much consider releasing him on his personal recognizance at this point,” Hayden said.
“Given that this is kind of an out-of-the-blue kind of allegation, I think it’s very appropriate.”
The alleged victim, less than 12 years old, told family members Lattin had touched her sexually three times on July 7 and July 9 at Lattin’s house while she and Lattin were “wrestling around,” according to the probable cause statement.
Confronted by family members about one of the incidents, “William said he was drunk and doesn’t remember, but she always comes at me and wants to wrestle,” he said in the statement.
Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at [email protected].