Trooper resigns after pleading no contest to sexual assault

Trooper resigns after pleading no contest to sexual assault

LAKE STEVENS, Wash. -- A state trooper has resigned from his post after pleading no contest to sexual assault.

Jimmy Franklin Craig, 43, of Lake Stevens, stepped down from his position as trooper last week, said Bob Calkins, spokesman for the Washington State Patrol. Craig pleaded no contest to misdemeanor sexual assault after authorities in Honolulu say he groped a woman at the Barefoot Bar at the Hale Koa Hotel in June.

Craig was pulled off the road and was working from home on paid administrative reassignment while both the police and the state patrol conducted separate investigations, Calkins said.

"We have our own standards of conduct. The Hawaii officials did their criminal investigation, and then we began our own internal investigation," Calkins added. "Clearly, this kind of behavior would be a violation of our policies."

In November, Craig pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of fourth-degree sexual assault, court records show. As part of his sentence, the charge will be dismissed if Craig stays out of trouble for one year, authorities said.

"It's a deferred acceptance of no contest," explained Dave Koga, spokesman for the Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney. "If within that year he doesn't do anything wrong, the charge, the case is erased from his record."

Craig has no criminal history in Washington State, records show. His attorney didn't return a phone call placed Monday.

When asked to comment on the assault Monday, Craig said "no thanks" and closed the door to his home.

Craig joined the State Patrol in 1995 and was a member of the honor guard. Calkins described him as well respected with no disciplinary action on his record.

The state patrol internal investigation will be kept on hold indefinitely, Calkins said, but would be reopened if Craig decided to apply to rejoin the agency.

"We would certainly say this is not representative of the other 2,300 men and women of the agency," Calkins said.