Pot distribution to teens "sexually motivated" | News
Charges against a 49-year-old Clarkston man who allegedly provided marijuana to three teenagers this past summer have been modified to include a special allegation that the offenses were "sexually motivated," according to court documents.
Thomas Eugene McDonald was charged in July with three counts of distribution of a controlled substance to two girls and a boy - ages 15, 16, and 17. Two additional charges of distribution of a controlled substance were also added.
The three charges that include the special allegation involve one of the female juveniles. The delivery of a controlled substance charges carry a maximum penalty of up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $25,000 each along with a mandatory civil penalty of $1000. The special allegation carries a mandatory 18 month sentence enhancement each.
At the time of his arrest in July, McDonald told law enforcement officials that he provided the marijuana to the teenagers "to prevent them from going to the streets and getting hooked on meth," according to court documents. During the investigation, one of the teenagers said that she smoked several "bowls" of marijuana with McDonald.
Initally, McDonald denied providing marijuana to the teens, but when confronted with his wife's statements to the contrary, he admitted to law enforcement that he had and said that he had the permission of some of the kids' parents "and that some of the kids come and smoke marijuana with their parents," according to a Probable Cause Affidavit.
McDonald, who according to a 2006 Seattle Times article was a longtime registered counselor, worked as a "chemical dependency professional" at one time and treated court referrals in his own drug-and-alcohol counseling clinic in Pullman. He was previously convicted of one count of 3rd-degree rape involving a 15-year-old girl and given a one-year prison sentence, the newspaper stated, adding that McDonald served eight months in the Whitman County Jail.
McDonald had previously pled not guilty to the July charges. His next court hearing has been set for February 10th.