Former Zillah Mayor Gary Vyrle Clark was arrested Thursday after he was accused of raping a 4-year-old girl.
Union Gap police say Clark, 74, also exposed himself to the girl. The girl’s mother called police Feb. 18 to report that Clark was abusing her daughter, according to a probable cause affidavit. She told police that she suspected Clark was sexually abusing the girl, noting that he was coming to her house more often, the affidavit said.
Clark was doing repairs at the house, which he owned, the affidavit said. The mom set up a surveillance camera in January, which recorded Clark exposing himself and masturbating in front of the girl, the affidavit said.
Police found out that Clark had been referred to state Child Protective Services after a therapist said Clark, while discussing problems he had with pornography, admitted exposing himself to the child, the affidavit said. The therapist told Clark it would need to be reported to authorities. He told the therapist, “I understand. There are consequences for my actions,” the affidavit said.
Another woman living at the house told police that in early January she walked in on Clark performing a sex act on the child, the affidavit said.
Clark was booked into the Yakima County jail on suspicion of first-degree child rape and indecent exposure. He was released after posting $20,000 bail after a preliminary appearance hearing Friday and is required to check in weekly with the court’s pretrial services staff.
At the hearing, Yakima County Superior Court Judge Richard Bartheld ordered Clark to have no contact with the girl, her mother or the other witness in the case.
Clark, who retired from managing Moxee Innovations Corp., served several terms as mayor and a Zillah City Council member since 1980. He lost his 2017 reelection bid.
Attempts to contact Clark by phone and email for this story were not successful.
The Yakima Herald-Republic does not name victims of sexual assault without their consent.