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King County Sheriff Urquhart to file lawsuit against former deputy claiming abuse

SEATTLE -- King County Sheriff John Urquhart planned to file a lawsuit Wednesday against a former deputy who claimed the sheriff touched him inappropriately in 2014.

The former deputy, identified by Urquhart as Brian Barnes, made the allegations of the unwanted sexual advance in an email to the sheriff's office in September. Urquhart said that claim was forwarded to the Renton Police Department for an independent investigation.

Renton police confirmed Tuesday to our news partner The Seattle Times that they had launched a sexual-assault criminal investigation of the sheriff. Their findings will be forwarded to the prosecutor's office.

"The heinous and outrageous allegations made against me by former deputy Brian Barnes are not true, and a blatant, last-minute attempt to sway an election," Urquhart said.

The sheriff's office released the results of a polygraph test stating that the sheriff was not being deceitful when he denied ever having sexual contact with Barnes.

Barnes is now a police officer in Massachusetts.

In a separate case on Monday, a judge issued a temporary restraining order against Urquhart filed by a female deputy. She accuses the sheriff of raping her in 2002. Urquhart has denied the allegation and was cleared by Seattle police of any criminal charges earlier this year.