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Maple Valley mayor’s actions ‘concerning’ but no charges filed | King County Prosecutor
The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office declined the case March 19 for being “legally insufficient.”
The prosecutor’s office reviewed allegations against the mayor from one of his 17-year-old driver’s education students. A deputy prosecutor wrote in the decline document the 41-year-old Allison’s conduct “was certainly inappropriate and concerning given his access to minors and the position of authority he possesses as a driving instructor. However, this conduct does not rise to the level required by statute for the State to file criminal charges.”
The deputy prosecutor also wrote that while Allison was in a “significant relationship” with the girl as her driving instructor at the I-5 Driving School, “there is no evidence that he abused his authority to engage in sexual contact with her. There is, in fact, no evidence that sexual contact occurred.”
The prosecutor’s office released 17 pages of documentation that detail information from the female accuser and responses by Allison.
According to the police documents, a friend of the accuser reported to school officials Jan. 23 she was told of a conversation between Allison and the alleged victim that she felt was “creepy.”
The school officials spoke to the alleged victim and informed her parents about the allegations that Allison had been “inappropriate with her” during at least three driving lessons.
The school reported the allegations to the King County Sheriff’s Office and detectives started an investigation Jan. 27.
According to the prosecutor’s document, the girl accused Allison of asking her graphic details about sex, telling her details about his own sex life and making jokes of sexual nature. She also claimed that he joked he would pass her on her driving lessons “if she kept flirting with him.” The alleged victim never accused Allison of inappropriate touching or any contact outside of the lessons.
Allison denied all of the allegations as told to police, though he acknowledged three innocent versions of her allegations did occur.
Those were when the juvenile female claimed Allison made an inappropriate sexual inference about her riding on a skateboard, about a wallet she’d left in her lap while driving and when she inadvertently brushed against Allison’s chest when she reached into the back seat.
Allison also denied the making the flirting comment.
The girl told investigators she felt comfortable speaking with Allison about issues she couldn’t tell her parents. She said she initially thought he was a “cool adult” and they would play question and answer games in the car. The girl said that led to Allison asking if “she was trustworthy” and to sexual discussions.
She told a school official she did not want Allison to get into trouble.
The detective’s report stated Allison said, “kids do open up to him when driving in the car” but he denied any “inappropriate sexual conversation” with the girl or any other student.
Although the detective’s report indicated another female was rumored to have had similar experiences, no additional juveniles made any disclosure of inappropriate conversations of behavior by Allison.
The deputy prosecutor wrote in the document that the state needed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Allison communicated with a minor about subjects of a sexual nature.
“There is insufficient evidence to prove that crime here,” the prosecutor wrote.
Part of the issue came from the girl’s age. The age of consent in Washington is 16, meaning it would be legal for Allison to talk about sexual issues.
When contacted by The Reporter following the prosecution’s decision, Allison said, “My family and I are relieved to have all of this behind us and I look forward to focusing on the many challenges that face the city of Maple Valley.”
He added: “It’s still important for the driving school to learn from this lesson as I have. At my direction, we have installed security cameras in the vehicles to ensure students have the safest possible learning experience.”
No action or public discussion of the allegations occurred at the Maple Valley City Council meeting Monday.
The founder and owner of I-5 Driving School, Ryan Ryals, wrote in an email Tuesday, “Mr. Allison is on administrative leave while we investigate the allegation.”