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Charges Against Gines Dismissed By Court

Officer offers resignation

Skamania County Superior Court Judge E. Thompson Reynolds has dismissed a child molestation charge against former Bingen-White Salmon Police Officer Joshua Gines.

According to Chris Lanz, chief deputy prosecutor for the Skamania County Prosecutor's Office, the action was taken on April 15.

"The court, from the bench, dismissed the criminal matter on a motion from the defendant," Lanz explained.

In January, Gines had been charged with alleged child molestation in the first degree and alleged incest in the second degree.

"There was not evidence to support the case. The criminal matters have been dismissed," Lanz said. "I argued against it, but the court made a finding that while there was an admission, there was no evidence to corroborate that. Therefore, he could not be found guilty. Since there was no evidence, the admission could not be used at the time of trial, so there was no choice but to dismiss."

Gines' attorney, Steven Thayer of Vancouver, did not respond to requests for comment as of press time Tuesday.

The week before the charges against Gines were dropped, Police Chief Bruce Brending advised the council that Gines had resigned from the Bingen-White Salmon Police Department. Gines joined the police force in July 2006.

"I received Officer Gines' letter of resignation and I accepted it," Brending said at the April 7 meeting of the White Salmon City Council. "It is effective as of April 7."

Gines, who lives in Carson, had been on paid administrative leave pending the disposition of the allegations against him.

Gines pleaded "not guilty" to the charges in Skamania County Superior Court on Jan. 28.

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