The former owner of The Robert Earl Lighthouse restaurant in Port Orchard was found not guilty of four counts of first-degree child molestation Jan. 27 by a Snohomish County Superior Court jury.
Eric Smith was arrested on June 30, 2014, at his home in Bothell. A 20-year veteran Seattle police officer at the time, Smith was accused of molesting his former girlfriend’s daughter on several occasions between 2009-13, according to the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office.
Smith was placed on paid administrative leave after he was accused in 2014 and then placed on unpaid leave after he was criminally charged. He then retired from the police force July 2014.
The Lighthouse, at 429 Bay St., had been shuttered until Smith’s Robert Earl Enterprises LLC signed a lease with building owner Tim Tweten. A little more than a month after Smith signed a lease with Tweten, he was arrested on alleged child molestation charges.
The jury concluded testimony from the alleged victim contained inconsistencies, including one she made about a friend of hers who had visited the Smith home.