Former Black Diamond resident Allen W. Bittner was sentenced to 130 months to life after pleading guilty to poisoning and sexually molesting his daughters.
The sentence was handed down by Judge Andrea Darvas on Nov. 18, marking the end of a three-year long case.
Bittner was originally charged in 2019 with two counts of first degree child molestation, one count second degree child molestation, one count of second degree child rape, and one count of second degree assault, but prosecutors agreed to drop the rape charge for the guilty plea.
According to court documents, the standard sentence range for the first degree child molestation is between 129 and 171 months; prosecutors asked for 132 months, or 11 years. Bittner will serve a minimum of 130 months, and an indeterminate sentence board will later determine his maximum sentence.
On Oct. 12, 2019, Black Diamond police officers were called to Bittner’s home to a report of a CPR in progress on a minor, and arrived to find him attempting to resuscitate his daughter.
According to court documents, Bittner, now 40, told officers he was attempting to give her a “breathing treatment” when she lost consciousness. When asked what sort of treatment Bittner gave to his daughter, he said he didn’t know — only that he used it when he was in the Navy as a way to “open the airway and kill bacteria”.
Bittner added that he received the chemical from a friend at work, but Bittner could only identify him as “John” and had no contact information for him.
EMS arrived at this time and started treating the girl, but she was eventually rushed to the Auburn airport and flown to Seattle Children’s to be put on a breathing tube.
At the scene, police found an unlabeled bottle and a rag soaked in a chemical. It was sent to be analyzed, and the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab confirmed the chemical was chloroform and acetone. Chloroform used to be used as an anesthetic, but long-term exposure can damage the liver or kidneys, and the wrong dosage can be fatal.
After obtaining a search warrant for Bittner’s cellphone and laptop, police found he was researching how to make chloroform and its effects weeks before the incident.
With that, he was arrested Nov. 9, 2019, on suspicion of poisoning his daughter, and was charged with assault in the second degree.
“The defendant lied to police about the origin and nature of the substance he administered to his stepdaughter,” charging papers read. “It is alarming that he would administer chemicals to his stepdaughter, but perhaps even more alarming that he would risk her life and medical treatment by lying to police about what the substance was.”
Bittner paid the $50,000 bail, but violated a no-contact order by moving into a residence nearby his family, and was arrested again. He then posted another $20,000 for bail and reportedly moved to Bonney Lake.
He pled not guilty on Dec. 2.
In the meantime, the hospitalized girl, now recovered enough to talk to police with her sister, told investigators Bittner was sexually abusing them. One girl said she was raped at least twice.
Bittner was arrested again on Nov. 29 (before his first arraignment) on suspicion of child rape and molestation, and bail was set at $500,000, which he did not post.
He again pled not guilty at his Dec. 19 arraignment hearing, but pled guilty to all but the second degree rape charge on Aug. 17.