Court records detail three victim accounts of alleged sex abuse by Spokane man
SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. — Court documents show an alleged victim in a sexual abuse case stemming from the mid-90s reached out to several adults, but nothing was ever reported to police until recently.
According to a recently filed affidavit, since that allegation came to light, other alleged victims have come forward.
Court records indicate the first victim to come forward was 15 years old when she was reportedly sexually abused by Mark Hoffmeister.
The victim, who is now an adult, said she met Hoffmeister at Northwest Gymnastics Academy. She said she was friends with Hoffmeister’s family and frequently spent the night at their home.
She told investigators Hoffmeister inappropriately touched her while telling ghost stories on a trampoline in the backyard in the summer of 1996.
According to court records, the victim told another gymnast about the alleged incident and that friend told her to alert the owners of the gym.
The alleged victim said she did and the owners contacted her mother. Court documents show the mother told the young girl to tell her coaches “it was a mistake and that it is our problem.”
Court documents indicate the alleged victim returned to the gym the next day to find the owners telling other gymnasts about the alleged abuse and saying they could not spend the night at Hoffmeister’s home.
According to court documents, the alleged victim’s mother said she did not believe the allegations were true at first, but later insisted it be reported to law enforcement.
Since the recent launch of the investigation, other former members of the gym have been questioned by law enforcement. They told authorities they remembered being “sat down” by the gym’s owners to talk about the allegations against Hoffmeister.
The owners of the gym were also questioned by investigators and court records show they denied ever being alerted about the allegations against Hoffmeister.
Since investigators began looking into the case, more alleged victims have come forward, including some of Hoffmeister’s family members.
Court documents show two other victims, identified as Hoffmeister’s relatives, came forward with similar allegations of abuse.
One victim told investigators Hoffmeister sexually abused her when she was young. This alleged victim shared a similar story, telling investigators Hoffmeister inappropriately touched her and forced her to perform inappropriate actions on him while on a trampoline in his backyard.
Records indicate the victim told her mother about the abuse. When questioned by investigators, her mother said her daughter told her about the alleged abuse when she was 7 years old. She did not know what to do and never reported the information to law enforcement.
The other relative said he was sexually abused by Hoffmeister when he was 7 years old. He also told investigators he remembered Hofmeister sitting underneath a blanket with a young girl while watching a movie and told him to not turn around.
Since the alleged victims have come forward, authorities have launched a full investigation. Hoffmeister was recently arrested and charged with first-degree rape of a child, second-degree rape and first-degree child molestation.
He was arraigned on Tuesday and pleaded not guilty to the charges.
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