Charges: Family friend groomed, molested 11-year-old boy with Leukemia at Seattle Children’s Hospital
SEATTLE — A 63-year-old man faces charges for allegedly molesting an 11-year-old gravely ill boy while he was a patient at Seattle Children’s Hospital.
John S. Hudspeth, a self-proclaimed swim and “life coach,” was caught molesting the boy in his hospital bed by staff in June, Seattle police allege. He was arrested and currently being held on first-degree child molestation charges in lieu of $100,000 bail.
According to King County court documents, Hudspeth first met the victim in 2012 at a gym in Richland, Wash. He offered to give the boy swim lessons and the boy’s family agreed.
Though Hudspeth had no training as a coach, he spent hours with the boy at the gym, coaching him in swimming, martial arts, basketball and wrestling, documents show. Hudspeth allegedly accompanied the boy in the public shower on multiple occasions, documents show, and would often go over to the boy’s house to allegedly help him fall asleep.
In March 2014, the victim was diagnosed with Leukemia and the boy’s family moved to Seattle where he could receive treatment at Seattle Children’s Hospital.
Hudspeth followed to help the family, he told investigators, often providing “deep tissue massages” to the victim, though the massages were not part of the boy’s treatment plan.
On June 21, a nurse at Seattle Children’s entered the victim’s hospital room and found Hudspeth with his shirt off massaging the boy’s lower back, hips and buttocks area, court documents show.
The nurse reported the incident to her supervisor, but later that same night, a different nurse allegedly found Hudspeth alone in the boy’s hospital room again, this time wearing only his underwear.
Following both nurses’ concern, police contacted Hudspeth. He allegedly admitted to helping the victim bathe and apply ointment to sensitive areas often, though the boy was able to do so without help, documents show.
Investigators believed it was clear Hudspeth was grooming the boy — a common process used by sex offenders to assume a caring role in the child’s life — and issued a warrant for his arrest shortly after interviewing him.
Hudspeth, a resident of St. Maries, Idaho, has been in King County Jail since Wednesday.