Former driver's ed instructor charged with child molestation

King County prosecutors have charged a Bellevue massage therapist who moonlighted as a driver’s education instructor on Mercer Island, with two counts of first-degree child molestation.

Charging documents say Mark Douglas Satterlund, 50, groped an 11-year-old boy at his home office.

Satterlund had worked as an instructor for SWERVE Driver training on Mercer Island. He resigned from that position on June 5.

SWERVE is one of just a few options for Mercer Island students hoping to take driver’s education courses in the nearby area since the high school cancelled its program for lack of funding five years ago.

The boy’s mother told police that Satterlund, whom she had been using as a massage therapist for over five years, offered to teach her homeschooled son how to build a fountain using river rocks. She arranged to drop off her son and pick him up later in the day.

Satterlund told the boy during his visit that they should get comfortable, and he stripped down to boxer briefs and a T-shirt, according to charging papers. The boy remained fully clothed.

Charging papers say Satterlund put his hand on the boy’s genitals while the child was drilling holes in river rocks.

The 11-year-old told police that Satterlund had touched his genitals in the past while his mother was in a separate room getting ready for appointments. He also said the man rubbed his own genitals while massaging the mother.

A judge granted police the authority to record a phone conversation between the Satterlund and the boy. The masseur denied during that conversation that he had molested the 11-year-old, according to a probable cause document.

Bellevue police have investigated Satterlund twice in the past for involvement with minor males — one a 15-year-old driver’s education student and the other a family friend. No charges resulted from those cases.

Police arrested Satterlund on June 3 while he was at home with his wife. He was held on $150,000 bail and released four days later after posting bond. His massage practitioner license from the State Health Department remained active through Wednesday.

“We have an investigation underway,” said health department spokesman Gordon MacCracken.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Read the Oct 19
Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Browse the archives.

Friends to Follow

View All Updates