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Fellow teachers’ statements, video led to Whatcom man’s arrest on child molestation charges

BLAINE, Wash. — Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office developed probable cause to arrest a 43-year-old man on 2 counts of 1st degree child molestation after an investigation into witness and video accounts of a school out at a water park in August.

According to an affidavit of probable cause to arrest prepared by WCSO and submitted in Whatcom County Superior Court by prosecutors, a group of teachers, para educators and students with the Lummi Nation School District went to a water park in Birch Bay. During their time there, according to statements provided by 7 school personnel attending the event, Robert Oliver Ziesing, age 43, was seen giving an inappropriate amount of attention to 2 female students, ages 7 and 6.

Statements taken by a WCSO investigator echoed multiple accounts of inappropriate touching. Some were able to be confirmed by security video recordings.

Ziesing, a full-time teacher, denied inappropriately touching either student when interviewed by an investigator.

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On Friday, September 23rd, Ziesing arrived at the Whatcom County Jail with his attorney and was booked into the jail charged with 1st degree child molestation.

A preliminary hearing was held on Friday where prosecutors requested bail be set at $200,000. Defense asked that Ziesing be release on his personal recognizance or bail be set at $15,000 with a cash alternative. The court set bail at $75,000 without a cash alternative. An appearance bond was posted, and he was released later that day.

An arraignment hearing is scheduled for September 30th.

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