State trooper remains on paid leave during investigation

Christopher John Daigle accused of sex with minor

PORT ANGELES — State Trooper Christopher John Daigle has been on “home assignment” for at least seven months amid internal and criminal investigations into whether he had a sexual relationship with a girl before she turned 16.

The State Patrol first learned of the allegations Feb. 26. Daigle, 35, was placed on home assignment shortly after, according to the State Patrol.

Court records show that during this time Daigle has been earning about $7,000 per month.

State Patrol spokesperson Darren Wright said Thursday that the case remained under investigation and that Daigle remained on home assignment.

Daigle, who was hired by the State Patrol on April 26 2012, was assigned to the State Patrol’s office near Port Angeles and had patrolled in Jefferson County until early this year.

The internal investigation, which started May 20, is ongoing and the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office has forwarded its separate criminal investigation to the Clallam County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for review.

Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Michele Devlin said Friday that a charging decision had not been made.

In court documents related to his divorce, Daigle wrote that he cannot address the court about the allegations, but said they are “hearsay upon hearsay.”

“The matter is under investigation, therefore I am required by my agency to have no communication with anyone who is a witness or involved in spreading the allegations regarding this matter,” Daigle wrote.

Attorney William Payne, who represents Daigle, said Friday he would not comment on the duel investigations, citing attorney-client confidentiality.

Chief Criminal Deputy Brian King said that the scope of the investigation includes whether Daigle had sexual contact with the girl before she turned 16 and whether he had communication with a minor for immoral purposes.

He said he isn’t confident that criminal charges will be filed.

That is primarily because the alleged victim was not cooperative during the investigation, he said.

“I don’t believe that we can prove at this point beyond a reasonable doubt that sex occurred before she turned 16,” King said. “We weren’t getting a whole lot of cooperation in our investigation from the victim.”

Under state law, it is third-degree rape of a child for a person to have sexual intercourse with a person who is between the ages of 14 and 16 and is at least four years older than the victim.

King emphasized that communication with a minor for immoral purposes was also within the scope of the investigation.

King said the case remains open pending prosecutor review, but that records could be released once the case is closed. He said it is possible the internal investigation could uncover information relevant to the criminal investigation.

He said the burden of proof for the State Patrol to take action in its internal investigation is not as high as that for a criminal case.

According to declarations filed with the court, Daigle has purchased alcohol to share with his daughter’s friends.

Court papers said the girl Daigle has had a relationship with went on a “family trip” with Daigle — without his wife — in June of 2018. Daigle filed for divorce the next month.

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Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at [email protected].

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