TACOMA, WA – Today Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist charged Justin Hamrick, 25, with two counts of Failure to Comply with Mandatory Reporting Laws. The defendant is a Washington State Trooper and, by law, is required to immediately report child abuse or neglect when there is reasonable cause to believe the abuse occurred.
“Our mandatory reporting laws exist to help protect our children,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. “Law enforcement officers in particular are expected to follow our laws.”
On June 4, 2011, the defendant was at a birthday party when his mother told him that his father, Scott Hamrick, had been molesting his step sisters for the last five years. He told his mother to report the matter to police but she did not. Over the course of the next few weeks, the defendant spoke with his two biological brothers, who had also been told of the abuse. On June 28, the defendant’s older brother gave him an ultimatum to report the abuse or else he would call the police. Only then did the defendant finally report the abuse.
The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department launched an investigation of Drew and Scott Hamrick for alleged sexual and physical abuse of four of their adopted daughters. During forensic interviews, the two youngest victims, then 12 and 14 years old, disclosed that Scott Hamrick started sexually abusing them around age five or six. The abuse continued until the girls went to live with a relative in early 2011. The victims also reported repeated instances of physical abuse by Drew Hamrick. Additionally, the Hamrick’s two oldest daughters disclosed that Scott Hamrick had sexually abused them when they were younger.
On June 30, before the investigation was completed and charges were filed, Scott Hamrick committed suicide. In November of 2012, Drew Hamrick pled guilty to three counts of Tampering with a Witness and one count of Unlawful Imprisonment and was sentenced to one year in prison.
Defendant Justin Hamrick is scheduled to be arraigned on December 24 at 9 a.m. in Room 270 in the County City Building in Tacoma. This date is subject to change.
Charges are only allegations and a person is presumed innocent unless he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
For more information, please contact Rebecca Stover at (253) 798-4910, [email protected].