Accused Molester Dossey Pleads To Lesser Count – May 19, 2010

Kevin L. Hoover

Eye Editor

ARCATA – Accused child molester Timothy Ryan Dossey pled guilty to a lesser charge of child endangerment and was released from jail May 5. Formal sentencing takes place June 14.

Dossey, 26, had been held in Humboldt County Jail on $50,000 bail since March 4, when he was arrested on suspicion of Child Molestation and Sending Harmful Matter to Seduce a Minor. Arcata High School school officials learned of the allegations and notified police. It was alleged that Dossey, an AHS Junior Varsity girls’ basketball coach, developed an inappropriate relationship with a 15-year-old female student.

Dossey was arraigned March 9 on three felony charges: child molestation, communication with a minor with intent to commit a molestation and arranging to met a minor for the purpose of engaging in a lewd act.

But on May 5, the first count was reduced to child endangerment and the other two counts were dismissed.

The Penal Code 273a (a) charge that Dossey pled to is a "wobbler," that is, a felony charge that may be reduced to a misdemeanor. It may be expunged from his record following probation.

Meanwhile, Dossey will not be allowed to hold a teaching position in California as long as the conviction remains on his record. He will not have to register as a sex offender.

Deputy District Attorney Kelly Neel was reluctant to offer detail on why the charges were reduced and dismissed prior to Dossey's sentencing. However, she said, "Decisions were made in conjunction with, and with the support of the victim's family."

Neel maintained that the charges were "not necessarily reduced," and that the guilty plea "will prevent him from ever obtaining a teaching credential." If Dossey applies for a teaching job, she said, he will have to fill out a questionnaire which specifically asks whether  he had ever been convicted of a felony.

To legally return to the teaching field, she said, Dossey would need a pardon from the governor. She said that Dossey will be on felony supervised probation, and that he will be required to undergo counseling.

Arcata Police Chief Tom Chapman expressed qualified satisfaction with the disposition of the case, but with concerns.

"I'm glad the DA's office was able to reach a mutually agreeable settlement," Chapman said. "I'm disappointed that he won't have to register as a sex offender. We have sex offender registration for a reason."

Chapman expressed concern that given the circumstances of the settlement, Dossey could relocate to another area and continue the behavior.

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  1. Chad W. said:

    Follow up on my last post, if you wiki “age of consent” you can see that in Utah it would be legal for someone age 16 to have relations with someone 26(up to ten years older). So in this case if he lived in UTAH he would have just missed the cutoff 15 verses 26. Also I wanted to add in some of the other states if you are actually married it makes a difference. Just pointing this out to people because we think we live on the West coast we rule the law, actually there is a broader world out there. Yeomen has no law for this. Prostitution is legal in Neveda and not in California. Maybe if it was legal(between adults) he wouldn’t of had to go do this??? Ya think! The prosecution was not unreasonable to cut the deal with him.

  2. Chad W. said:

    Basically, the Commission on Credientials will easily pull his DOJ file off a database. Expunging doesn’t matter if it’s a “state/gov” job that requires licensing. Expunging only works with the private sector. They will deny him. But actually lets get real this guy is 26 and she is like 15…If he lived in certain other states, in the south and east coast USA the age of consent is 16-18 depending on state(16 Canada) with various stipulations as to age differences, with the parents permission, go ahead and wiki it. If this guy is smart he just made a mistake, most likely he will never do it again. Yeah, maybe in other states or other countries he could get credientialed. His best bet is to stay out of trouble and pick a different career path.

  3. Dave Kitt said:

    One more reason why I am supporting Allison Jackson.

  4. kevpod said:

    Further, Dossey was/is an HSU student majoring in Liberal Studies Extended Education at HSU.

    From the website: “A Liberal Studies/Elementary Education (LSEE) degree from Humboldt State University prepares graduates to enter a fifth-year teaching credential program to earn a Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential.”

    Between that and the coaching experience at Arcata High, it looks as though he was headed for a teaching position. And with his record one day expunged, may still be. This is what the police chief is concerned about and what I sought to get clarification on.

    Kelly, you say that he can’t be credentialed in California under the plea deal. What about elsewhere?

  5. kevpod said:

    I must disagree. The story does reflect our conversation.

    Further, the DA’s Office frequently sends out press releases on cases in which a plea agreement has been reached where the defendant has not yet been sentenced. I’d like to know why it didn’t in this case. Perhaps you or someone at the DA’s Office can supply an answer to that.

    Yes, Dossey was an HSU student, which is irrelevant to this story. He was also a basketball coach at a high school. He came into the same contact with students that a teacher does.

    From my notes, quoting you: “He pled guilty to a felony that will prevent him from ever obtaining a teaching credential.”

    But, and please correct me if I’m wrong, once his record is expunged per the plea agreement you reached, being denied a teaching credential depends on him voluntarily and truthfully answering a questionnaire about his record. Is that not so?

  6. Kelly Neel said:

    To clarify, I advised Mr. Hoover that I encouraged him to attend the sentencing hearing and that I do not commonly comment on cases until they are concluded. Mr. Dossey was not a teacher, he was in fact still a student at HSU. It is unfortunate that Mr. Hoover chose the words he chose as they are not an accurate reflection of our conversation. Nor do they accurately depict the defendant’s ‘postition’ as he was not a teacher and never was a teacher. With his plea of guilty to this felony he cannot be credentialed in the state of California as a teacher; regardless of whether the felony is a wobbler or not. Lesson learned, Mr. Hoover, Lesson learned.

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