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TACOMA, Wash. -- Costco Worker Helps Police Find Child Rape Suspect...
Costco Worker Helps Police Find Child Rape Suspect
POSTED: 5:59 pm PDT June 23, 2008
UPDATED: 6:31 pm PDT June 23, 2008
TACOMA, Wash. -- A man who once cared for foster children was charged
with child rape Monday after a Costco worker saw what appeared to be
child pornography on film to be developed at the store, reported KIRO 7
Tacoma police said several weeks ago, 69-year-old Eugene Pritchett took
some film to Costco to be developed.
Detectives said a Costco employee saw what was thought to be child
pornography on the film roll and called police.
"A local film developer contacted us to tell us they were contracted to
develop some 35 millimeter prints that depicted a young boy in a
sexually explicit manner," said Tacoma police Detective Brad Graham.
Police said that at first, they weren't sure who the boys on the roll of
film were, but Child Protective Services was able to identify them as
foster children who had once been in the care of Pritchett.
For several years, Pritchett was licensed to provide respite care for
foster children, which meant he had temporary custody of children,
primarily boys, who were placed in foster care by Child Protective
Services, investigators said.
According to a probable cause affidavit, in 2004, a report was that
alleged that Pritchett was having inappropriate contact with boys in his
care. The claim was ruled unfounded.
Despite that finding, Pritchett's license to provide foster care was
suspended and then later revoked.
Tacoma police said the boy in the pictures found by Costco was a child
Pritchett had cared for and stayed in touch with even after he lost his
Police said they believe there are more victims.
"We're very concerned because of the number of access points he had to
kids, and given the time delay on this and how long he did it, our
concern is that some of these kids have reached adult status now," said
Pritchett pleaded not guilty to four counts of child rape and two counts
of sexual exploitation of a minor.
He was released on bail. KIRO was unable to contact Pritchett for
comment on the allegations.
Tacoma police ask that anyone who knows of foster children that may have
been victimized by Pritchett to contact them.
Copyright 2008 by KIROTV.com. All rights reserved. This material may not
be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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