Snohomish brewery owner pleads not guilty
SNOHOMISH — The brewer who’s been accused of molesting a pre-teen girl pleaded not guilty before Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Robert Okrent last week.
Frank Sandoval’s trial is tentatively scheduled for Friday, Dec. 2.
The girl was a family friend who helped can beer at Sandoval’s business, SnoTown Brewery.
Sandoval and his defense attorney both declined comment to the Tribune at the courthouse.
Sandoval sat attentively in the courtroom’s back row until Okrent brought him forward to state his plea.
Prosecutors filed the charge in August that Sandoval touched the girl inappropriately last year, underpinned by a lengthy Snohomish Police Department investigation.
In a voluntary police interview, Sandoval denied touching the girl’s private parts. He acknowledged that “while sitting on his lap, he had touched her hips, her stomach and had his arm around her,” a Snohomish Police detective reported. In the girl’s interview, she said that he’d pull her into his lap without asking and had, at times, put his hand up her shirt.
Sandoval has no prior criminal history. If convicted, second-degree child molestation is a class B felony.
Snohomish brewery owner faces
criminal charge of child molestation
SNOHOMISH — County prosecutors filed a charge Thursday against the owner of SnoTown Brewery on an accusation he molested a pre-teen girl. Second-degree child molestation is a class B felony.
Frank Sandoval, now 48, knew the girl’s family well. They were regular customers, and became close friends.
The friendship led him to ask if their daughter could help him and his son can the beer in the brewery.
It was a paying gig for the then-12-year-old girl.
Court documents describe that after the first few times of working, though, her demeanor changed in spring 2021. She felt uncomfortable and didn’t want to go to the brewery with her family.
And last October, after her family prodded, she spoke up why: She didn’t want to be alone with him because he makes her sit on his lap and he puts his hands up her shirt, the charging paper says.
Sandoval said he could not discuss the case when reached by a Tribune reporter through Facebook messenger.
In a voluntary police interview, Sandoval denied touching the girl’s private parts. He acknowledged that “while sitting on his lap, he had touched her hips, her stomach and had his arm around her,” he told a Snohomish Police officer.
In the girl’s interview, she said that he’d pull her into his lap without asking and had put his hand up her shirt.
The two were sometimes alone in the brewery because his son left and the girl was waiting for her family to pick her up.
She said she didn’t feel comfortable speaking up because she didn’t want to damage her family’s friendship. The mom wasn’t aware until she pushed on why her daughter didn’t want to go.
The family confronted Sandoval at the brewery. He went white, charging papers said. He told them he’d question himself after she’d leave, but do the same things the next time he saw her, according to the prosecutor’s charging document.
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