Man accused of molesting child in Olympia YMCA shower appears in court

Staff writerMay 27, 2014 

David Cawthorn

BY JEREMY PAWLOSKI

A judge set $75,000 bail Tuesday for a man accused of molesting one boy and making lewd suggestions to another Saturday in the locker room at the Briggs YMCA.

Thurston County Superior Court Judge Christine Schaller found probable cause to order David Cawthorn, 21, held at the Thurston County Jail on suspicion of first-degree child molestation and communication with a minor for immoral purposes.

Cawthorn is accused in court papers of molesting an 8-year-old boy in a shower stall at the YMCA on Saturday. He also is accused of making lewd suggestions and exposing himself to a 10-year-old boy in the YMCA locker room the same day.

Olympia police responded to the Briggs YMCA, located at 1530 Yelm Highway SE, about 4:20 p.m. Saturday.

Police responded after the 10-year-old boy reported his interaction with a male suspect to staff, and staff called police. An 8-year-old boy and his mother reported the second incident to YMCA staff the same day.

A manager at the Briggs YMCA told an investigating Olympia police officer that he had tried to confront the suspect. However, the man denied doing anything wrong, and left.

Olympia police identified the suspect surveillance video footage of customers signing in at the YMCA’s front desk.

Olympia officers arrested Cawhtorn Sunday night at his trailer in the 6200 block of Fair Oaks Road in Thurston County.

An Olympia officer located on Cawthorn’s ankle a tattoo similar to one the 8-year-old had described as belonging to his alleged assailant.

Cawthorn told police he had visited the YMCA, but denied making any lewd comments to boys or molesting anyone in the shower. After repeated questioning, Cawthorn said “he may have accidentally” touched a boy in the shower.

Cawthorn’s story "seemed to change as he was confronted about his truthfulness of the entirety of the events of that day,” court papers state.

Schaller ordered during Cawthorn’s court hearing Tuesday that if he makes bail, he is not allowed to be around any children, including his own 3-month-old son.

Jeremy Pawloski: 360-754-5445; jpawloski@theolympian.com

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