Kitsap coach charged with molesting young swimmer

VIDEO: Kitsap swim coach faces molestation charges

A Kitsap County swim coach has been arrested and charged with allegedly molesting a young swimmer during a private training session.

According to investigators, the evidence is on surveillance video.

Forty-seven year old Patrick Roland Hamilton of Bremerton appeared before a judge in Kitsap County Superior Court on Wednesday,charged with repeatedly groping a 13-year old girl at the Kitsap Tennis and Aquatic Center last month.

According to court documents, the girl told her parents Hamilton said "I like touching your butt" while repeatedly grabbing her backside during a two-hour training session.

Detectives with the Kitsap County Sheriff's Office told KIRO 7, they have more than just the child's word to investigate what allegedly happened.

"We have surveillance video which is pretty extensive and also backs up what the girl says." Deputy Scott Wilson said.

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That surveillance video is now in evidence and strengthened the prosecutor's case enough so that a felony charge of child molestation in the second degree could be filed against the long-time swim coach.
A conviction could mean a 10-year prison sentence and/or a $20,000 fine.

Hamilton is also being investigated in a similar case involving a 16-year old girl.

According to a law enforcement agency in King County, the child came forward to detectives months before Hamilton's arrest on Tuesday.

The agency asked not to be identified because a spokesperson said Hamilton doesn’t know about the investigation.

The spokesperson told KIRO 7 the girl said Hamilton repeatedly touched her backside and told her he liked “grabbing her ass.”

The young swimmer was also coached by Hamilton.

Outside the Port Orchard courtroom Wednesday, Shona Jarboe told KIRO 7 she once coached alongside Hamilton at the Olympic Aquatic Club and is "not surprised at all" by his arrest.

Jarboe also had nothing but praise for the 13-year old girl who came forward.

"She is the bravest soul to have made the difference, and made people aware that he was doing these things," Jarboe said about the allegations that have not been proven in a court of law.

“If it’s talked about, it’s known, and other people will feel free to talk and hopefully share what they know.”

Kitsap County Sheriff's Office Detective Chad Birkenfeld said it's possible other victims may come forward now that Hamilton has been arrested and charged.

Hamilton pleaded not guilty at his arraignment.

His bail was set at $25,000.

If Hamilton posts bond, he has been ordered to have no contact with minors.