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Former Poulsbo Mayor Mitchusson arrested

A former Poulsbo mayor has been taken into custody on suspicion of stalking and sexually motivated assault.

Former Mayor Richard ‘Mitch’ Mitchusson was arrested by Kitsap County Sheriff's deputies Wednesday after complaints surfaced from several women in Poulsbo, according to KCSO spokesman Deputy Scott Wilson.

Officers developed probable cause that Mitchusson, 70, displayed a pattern of criminal behavior that included unwanted personal advances and inappropriate sexual contact with at least three adult women, KCSO reports. Complaints against Mitchusson date from January 2008 to March 2009. Incidents reported by various victims allegedly occurred both at their homes and places of employment.

Mitchusson was arrested at 2:40 p.m. Wednesday during a routine traffic stop in downtown Poulsbo, where he is well-known. He served as Poulsbo's mayor from 1985 to 1999, previously having worked as a member of the city's Public Works Department beginning in 1975.

Mitchusson was booked on suspicion of two counts of fourth-degree assault with sexual motivation and one count of stalking. He has not yet been charged. Combined bail is set at $50,000.

Mitchusson will most likely make his first court appearance at 1:30 p.m. today in Kitsap County District Court.

Wilson said KCSO has released Mitchusson's identity in advance of charges being filed because detectives believe there is a strong possibility that there are additional victims who have not yet been identified. Those who believe they are a victim, or who have information about this investigation, are asked to contact Detective Chad Birkenfeld at (360) 337-5619 or Detective Steve Duckworth at (360) 337-5669.

Initially, the Poulsbo Police Department requested KCSO’s assistance in the investigation.

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