The wife of a former Port Orchard City councilman accused of child molestation was charged in Kitsap County Superior Court Thursday with tampering with a key witness in her husband’s latest criminal case.
Elizabeth Anne Moore, 34, pleaded not guilty to one count of tampering, a felony that carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.
A felony warrant was issued for Moore’s arrest earlier this month after the Kitsap County Prosecutor’s Office was unable to locate Moore and the alleged victim in the molestation case, a young female family member.
Last month, the Kitsap County Prosecutor’s Office dismissed the molestation charge against former City Councilman Tye Christopher Moore after spending weeks trying to locate Mrs. Moore and the victim in both Washington and Canada.
“Since April 14, the state has made diligent efforts to locate its material witnesses,” wrote Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Kevin Cure in his filing to dismiss the charge against Tye Moore. “Det. Joe Marsh of the Benton County Sheriff’s Office (which has jurisdiction over the Tri-Cities area), who works in conjunction with the U.S. Marshal’s Office, has spent a significant amount of time looking for them, along with the POPD.”
Cure said law enforcement had received several reports regarding the witnesses’ whereabouts, which included residences in Richland, Woodinville, and British Columbia. He said Canadian authorities had also attempted to locate the witnesses to no avail.
In prior discussions with the witnesses, prosecutors said they indicated they would not leave the state and intended to comply with legal requests to appear.
Elizabeth Moore was booked into Kitsap County Jail this week under $50,000 bail, but in court Thursday Judge Sally Olsen released the defendant on her own recognizance, citing a lack of a criminal record.
Olsen also ordered Moore to have no contact with the child involved in the case, whom her defense attorney, Roger Hunko, said was still living in Kitsap County and was visited once a week by Moore, who now lives in Richland.
Tye Moore, who left his City Council seat in June of 2006 after being charged with fraud, was arrested Feb. 10 for the alleged child molestation just weeks after being released from prison after his forgery conviction.
According to the Port Orchard Police Department, officers learned of the suspected molestation after a sibling of the victim reported it to police.
When interviewed by a member of the Kitsap County Prosecutor’s Office’s special assault unit, the victim reportedly confirmed the abuse. She said on two occasions since he was released from Peninsula Work Release, Moore had touched her. Four years prior to that, she said he had exposed himself to her.
The charge against Tye Moore was dismissed without prejudice, meaning it could be re-filed at some point.
Elizabeth Moore’s next court appearance is an omnibus hearing Aug. 13.