Bellevue renames park that honored accused child molester

BELLEVUE, Wash. -- A Bellevue park named after an accused child molester is finally getting a new name.

The Bellevue City Council voted Monday night to rename Bovee Park.

The park was named in honor of Charles Bovee more than 50 years ago, but a local woman claims Bovee was a monster and asked the city council to change the name.

Bovee, who was the first Mayor of Bellevue, is now dead, but in 1957 he lived next to Kasia Wilk. That was when Wilk, who was just 8-years-old at the time, said Bovee sexually molested her.

Bovee was accused of molesting other girls, too, and he was eventually arrested and charged. Bovee denied molesting the girls and the charges were eventually dropped.

Despite the accusations, the city has kept the name of Bovee Park for nearly 60 years.

"The fact that they would name a park after someone like this hurt," Wilk said in March.

Over the past several months the Parks Board heard from 1,400 people about what to name the park. Dozens of names were suggested, but ultimately it came down to two.

On Monday night, the council voted unanimously to rename the park after community activist and former city council member Georgia Zumdieck.

For Wilk, the new name brings new peace.

"Although my parents are gone, I can say, 'I did it. I got this done for us,' you know," she said.
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