SEATTLE – An ex-deputy who accused former King County Sheriff John Urquhart of groping him in a Renton parking lot four years ago has filed a countersuit as part of a formal response to Urquhart’s pending defamation lawsuit against him.
The Seattle Times reported Thursday that Brian Barnes, in an answer and counterclaim filed in King County Superior Court, contends his groping accusation against Urquhart is true.
He also claims the former sheriff defamed him by publicly describing the allegation as a malicious, politically motivated lie, as well as by labeling Barnes an “organizational terrorist” who habitually files false claims against supervisors.
Barnes’ filing asks the court for a judgment against Urquhart and to award compensation for damages to be proved at trial.
Urquhart’s lawsuit claims Barnes concocted the groping claims “for the purpose of causing substantial and irreparable harm” to derail the then-sheriff’s re-election bid.
Lawyers for Urquhart and Barnes didn’t respond to requests for comment.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter
Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.