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Fired prosecutor accused of groping, DUI after Chelan conference

A fired Snohomish County deputy prosecutor is facing a sexual assault investigation, along with drunk driving charges, following a legal conference in Lake Chelan.

A Snohomish County deputy prosecutor – fired last week after he was charged with a drunk driving violation – is now under a criminal investigation for groping a female co-worker.

Snohomish County's elected prosecutor, Mark Roe, confirmed that a Chelan County detective interviewed a female deputy prosecutor yesterday who said longtime deputy prosecutor Chris Dickinson grabbed her breasts during a legal conference in Chelan last month.

“I feel terrible about it. It’s been probably my worst week as prosecutor,” said County Prosecutor Mark Roe. Roe fired Dickinson last week after Dickinson was arrested for driving under the influence hours after the conference at Campbell’s Resort had ended.

The drunken driving arrest and the groping episode are not the only fallout from the conference.

Roe also reviewed two photographs taken by another deputy prosecutor that show Dickinson and his topless girlfriend at a hotel room gathering of deputy prosecutors hours before Dickinson’s DUI arrest.

“I don’t know how she came to be exposed in that fashion on the top half of her body,” Roe said.

But Dickinson’s girlfriend, an employee at Snohomish County Juvenile court, appeared to be drunk and unconscious, Roe said.

Roe said another deputy prosecutor in the room snapped two photos of the couple in order to document their conduct.

“A young DPA took the photo because he was appalled by the actions of Dickinson and thought it should be documented in some fashion so that he could be held accountable for that,” Roe said.

Roe said the picture of the unconscious woman should not have been taken, and he’s disappointed that some of the senior employees in the room did not act more quickly to address Dickinson’s conduct.

The young prosecutor who took the photo was “reprimanded," according to Roe.

The Snohomish County prosecutor said the Chelan continuing education legal conference has been an annual event for more than 40 years, and the most serious problem previously had been the occasional “hangover.”

Roe said he’s “disappointed” in the conduct of some of his employees, and believes it’s possible that Dickinson – the ex-prosecutor – could face more than just a DUI charge when Chelan County Sheriff’s complete their investigation.

“I spent 12 years in our special assault unit. I don’t know any way to describe that. If that took place, that’s a sexual assault in my mind,” Roe said of the hotel room groping incident.

KING 5 could not reach Dickinson for a comment. His girlfriend and the Snohomish County deputy prosecutor who Dickinson is accused of groping did not respond to messages seeking comment.

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