Former Seattle Impact owner Dion Earl charged with sexual assault in Arizona

Earl was arrested in Mesa, Ariz., after two women say they were held against their will and molested at his Arizona home. Charges include sexual assault, kidnapping and sexual abuse.

A former owner of the defunct Seattle Impact indoor soccer team has been arrested in Arizona on charges that include sexual assault, kidnapping and sexual abuse.

Dion Earl, 45, who owned the Kent-based Impact during the 2014 season of the Major Arena Soccer League, is being held without bail pending a Nov. 7 preliminary hearing. He was arrested Saturday after two women, ages 21 and 18, and hired separately to baby-sit his children in Mesa, Ariz., complained to police that they had been held against their will and molested inside his home.

Earl faces three felony counts of sexual assault, kidnapping and sexual abuse as well as two misdemeanor counts of assault and sexual indecency. A probable cause statement from the Mesa Police Department says the incidents occurred Sept. 12 and Oct. 22 and that the two alleged victims in the case did not know each other prior to contacting police.

The probable cause report also makes passing reference to a 2014 case in Kent, where two Impact team dancers told police Earl had molested them in two separate incidents both at his private residence and at a strip club where he had taken one of them for a business meeting.

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The King County Prosecutors Office declined to file criminal charges after the women complained. But the two dance team members and a handful of other Impact staffers both male and female later filed a lawsuit against Earl – alleging varying degrees of harassment both sexual and non-sexual — and received a default judgment of just under $1 million in damages and legal fees.

Jason Rittereiser, a Seattle-based employment attorney – and current 8th district congressional candidate – represented the women against Earl and said Tuesday a lien remains on the former soccer owner’s Kent home as they seek to collect on damages.

Earl was forced to disband the Impact shortly after a Seattle Times front-page story about the sexual assault allegations and the fact 22 of his players had quit the team in protest.

The Times story further indicated how Earl had a nearly two-decades-long history of misconduct allegations brought against him by women, including five protection orders from 1998-2014. He also was dismissed from a high…

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