Local accused of molesting Lewis County child also charged in Pierce County in ’90s

There was also an incident at the Guesthouse Inn in Enumclaw.

Kenneth R. Bishop made an appearance in Lewis County Superior Court on Monday, July 27 in Chehalis. Photo courtesy Jared Wenzelburger / The Daily Chronicle

Kenneth R. Bishop made an appearance in Lewis County Superior Court on Monday, July 27 in Chehalis. Photo courtesy Jared Wenzelburger / The Daily Chronicle

The Courier-Herald has received new details concerning a local man being charged with molesting a Lewis County child.

Kenneth Ray Bishop, 58, was charged with two counts of first-degree child molestation July 1, 2020, and pled not guilty during his Aug. 6 arraignment. He has been released on his own recognizance.

While this Lewis Superior Court case only focuses on a then 12-year-old child in 2011, it was reported that Bishop has been suspected of molesting other children as well, though none of the alleged victims appear related to the current case.

A public disclosure report through the Lewis County Prosecuting Office showed that Bishop was charged on June 9, 1993 with two additional counts of child molestation: a third-degree molestation count in May of 1992 and a rape of a child in the first degree in June 1992. It does not appear these charges were brought to trial.

Additionally, there was a third complaint about Bishop allegedly acting inappropriately with a girl at Enumclaw’s Guesthouse Inn in 2016, though it doesn’t appear any charged were filed.

ALLEGATIONS FROM 1992

Part of the reason Lewis County has charged Bishop earlier this year was because it was discovered two other women have claimed he molested them when they were children.

Neither of the women’s names were released to the Courier-Herald, but both had familial ties with Bishop, though not necessarily by relation.

One woman declined to speak on the record, saying she “had put a lot of thought into providing a statement about what happened to her by Mr Bishop… [but she] told me she was spend her entire life trying to push the memories aside and forget what happened, and she was not willing to go through it all again,” Detective Mike Mohr’s report reads.

The 1993 Pierce County probable cause statement, which appears to be the only record of these two counts of child molestation and rape, noted she was babysitting for Bishop’s family around May 17 when he groped her.

The other woman, however, sat down with Mohr for an interview, describing an incident where she was sleeping and Bishop was attempting to take off her underwear. She was roughly 10 years old at the time, according to the 1993 probable cause statement.

Both in the probable cause statement and in her first conversation with Mohr, the woman said Bishop had been drinking and penetrated her with his fingers. However, in the August 2019 recorded interview, the woman said she was less sure whether any penetration occurred.

After charges were filed and the woman was removed to a foster home, she later recanted her story and apologized to Bishop.

However, she told Mohr in 2019 that she changed the story to “make it all go away,” because Bishop was her step-father.

The woman reportedly maintained a relationship with Bishop as late as 2019, though she “‘watches him like a hawk’” when he is around her children, Mohr’s report reads.

She also noted Bishop treats girls differently than boys, “complementing their looks and asking them to sit on his lap” — a detail similar to the charges recently brought against Bishop.

It’s not clear when these charges were dropped, but Mohr’s investigation did not mention any trial or jail time by Bishop.

GUESTHOUSE INN COMPLAINT

Timothy Hayes of Springdale, Arkansas, was in Enumclaw for a trade show in June 2016 when he made a complaint to the Enumclaw Police Department about Bishop acting suspiciously with a young girl.

In a 2018 interview with Mohr, Hayes said he was eating breakfast when he spotted Bishop and “a very young girl… and they were just real huggy, kissy, caressing type [of thing] and I was real uncomfortable with it, ‘cause he was so much older than her,” and added there was “inappropriate” back and leg rubbing.

According to Enumclaw Police Department records, there were two girls at the Guesthouse Inn at that time, one 13 and the other 15.

In a later interview with Ms. Bishop, she told Mohr the girls with Bishop were her daughters, and they were at the inn due to a house fire.

CURRENT CASE

Bishop is currently facing two counts of first-degree child molestation from 2011.

The case was first investigated in 2013, when the grandmother of the child in question — then about 14 years old — found a diary from two years prior documenting Bishop’s alleged actions.

However, the child did not want to talk to officers, and the case was suspended until Mohr discovered the additional 1992 and 2016 allegations against Bishop, and the case was reopened.

Mohr talked to the child — now an adult — in August 2018, and she provided more details about the alleged incident with Bishop.

The woman explained that she was “a very angry child and mat at her mother and the world” back in 2013, but wanted to speak out now, Mohr’s report reads.

She said Bishop was dating her mother in 2011 and how their relationship started off with him “being a normal father figure” but one day, when her mother was in the shower, Bishop kissed her on the lips “out of nowhere.”

This pattern of behavior continued as Bishop allegedly became more “touchy feely”, leading to dry humping and other non-penetrative sexual contact.

The woman said as a child, she enjoyed the attention as well as keeping secrets from her mother.

The dairy, upon review, contained little evidence of misconduct by Bishop — the only reference Mohr found was one line reading, “a 50 year old raped me.”

“I did not find any other enteries relevant to Mr. Bishop nor is his name mentioned anywhere,” Mohr wrote in his report. “It is important to note that Mr. Bishop would have been 50 years old when [the woman] wrong this entry.”

Bishop has denied inappropriate contact with any minor.

A jury trial is currently set for Oct. 26, 2020.


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