PORT ANGELES, Wash. -- Prosecutors on Friday charged 55-year-old Douglas Allison, the principal of Mountain View Christian School in Sequim, with 12 felony counts of child rape and molestation after investigators say he confessed to inappropriately touching two young female students.
Clallam County sheriff's detectives say Allison repeatedly touched a 10-year-old girl and 11-year-old girl during class. Mountain View Christian School is operated by the 7th Day Adventist Church. Officials say they were blindsided by the allegations.
Associate Pastor Collette Pekar told reporters Friday, "Truly our hearts are breaking and the level of dismay and grief on the part of our church community is overwhelming."
Pekar said half of the school's small student body (11 to 13 students) has now left. The school is providing counseling to the remaining students.
Pekar said, "We pray for the complete healing of these kids and we will be behind them to provide the counseling and intervention. Whatever is necessary."
Friends of Allison say they believe he is innocent.
"You’re innocent until proven guilty," Greg Reseck said. "I’d like to hope he’s innocent. That’s all I can say."
Allison could serve life in prison if he is found guilty. He will appear in court again on May 9.
Allison, who also taught grades 5 through 8 at the school, was being held in the county jail in lieu of $100,000 bail.
In a probable cause document filed in court, the sheriff's office said a 11-year-old girl and a 10-year-old girl at the school told detectives that Allison had touched them inappropriately. The investigation began after the girls told their mothers what had occurred.
According to the court documents, the mother of one of the victims phoned Allison, while detectives listened in, and told Allison that her daughter had told her that Allison had been touching her in her privates area. Allison said the girl had told the truth, the documents said, and told the mother that "he was not okay with it and that his life had come to an end."
Last Tuesday night, Allison was arrested at his home, read his Miranda rights and agreed to talk to a detective, the document says.
In the interview, Allison said he began touching the girls inappropriately last October and November, the documents says, and that he would rub their genital areas in class and occasionally digitally penetrate them. He also said he had one of the victims touch him.
Allison said "he was ashamed of what he had done ... and he is sorry," the detective wrote in the document. He "said he knew what he was doing ... was wrong."