TACOMA, WA – The Washington State Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal of a malicious prosecution and defamation lawsuit filed against the Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and the Sheriff’s Department. The trial court dismissed the lawsuit in 2014.
This is the second time former teacher Harold Wright unsuccessfully sued Pierce County after being charged with rape. Wright sought $7.6 million from Pierce County in a federal lawsuit that was dismissed in 2013.
“We are committed to fighting meritless claims in court," said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. "Our strong stands save county taxpayers money in the long run."
In 2007, a jury convicted Wright and his friend of raping a former student. Two years later, the Court of Appeals concluded the trial court had improperly instructed the jury and overturned that conviction. The criminal case against Wright was dismissed in 2013 when witnesses could not recall important details several years after the sexual assault.
The Court of Appeals agreed with the trial court that Wright’s claims in the civil lawsuit lacked a factual basis.
Assistant to Prosecutor Mark Lindquist
Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office