Issaquah police investigate Medina police officer for rape

April 8, 2009

By Warren Kagarise

UPDATED — 8:35 p.m. April 8, 2009

Authorities are investigating a Medina police officer who reportedly raped a woman he had cited for a traffic violation and marijuana possession. The alleged assault occurred at the officer’s home in the Issaquah Highlands, according to court documents.

The incident came to the attention of police after the woman reported that her boyfriend had sexually assaulted her. During that investigation, a King County Sheriff’s Office detective overheard the boyfriend tell someone on the phone that the woman “didn’t report the cop for raping her.” When the detective asked the woman about that, she recounted the alleged earlier incident.

The sheriff’s detective handed the case off to Issaquah police, because the woman said the incident happened in the highlands.

Neither the officer nor the woman could be reached for comment today.

The woman told Issaquah police the assault occurred in the officer’s home late last year. The 30-year-old officer is being investigated by Issaquah police for third-degree rape and official misconduct, according to a search warrant for the officer’s mobile phone records. After interviewing the woman last month, Issaquah police investigators obtained the warrant April 2.

Police have not arrested anyone. The investigation is continuing. The Issaquah Press is withholding the officer’s name because he has not been charged with a crime.

According to the warrant:

The woman told police the officer stopped her on state Route 520 and cited her for driving with a suspended license. During the Nov. 23 stop, the officer handcuffed the woman and put her in the back of his patrol car.

He then searched her vehicle and discovered a small bag of suspected marijuana. When he finished his search, he returned to his patrol car. He adjusted her scarf and “put his hand on her.” He also told the woman “she was attractive and beautiful.”

The woman told him she had taken care of the suspended license charge by paying the ticket. She then told him she did not want to be charged for the marijuana. He told her the charge would go away and released her.

The next morning, the officer called her and asked to meet at Joker Pub & Grill, 5614 E. Lake Sammamish Parkway S.E. He told the woman he would show her a letter to prosecutors about dismissing the charges.

She met him a few days later. He told her he was attracted to her and invited her to his home in the highlands. The woman agreed, but told him she would not have sex with him on the first date.

At his home, he poured a drink for her and told her people are scared of police officers because they have power and authority in the form of a gun and a badge. He then put his gun on a table; the woman told police she felt the officer was trying to intimidate her with that gesture.

The officer offered her a tour of his home. When they reached the bedroom, he pushed her onto the bed, held her hands above her head and straddled her. She told him she did not want to have sex, and he replied, “You don’t really mean that.” He then raped her.

After that, she said she contacted him each time she went to court to ask when the charges would be dismissed. They then communicated via phone calls and text messages about that. The woman’s boyfriend went through her phone records to determine who was sending her text messages. He then deleted them.

In December, the officer sent a letter to prosecutors about the marijuana charge: “In almost four years, I don’t think I’ve ever asked you guys to dismiss charges and I don’t plan on making a habit of it, but can we dismiss the charges in this case? I wouldn’t even feel right going to court in testifying in this case.”

The charges were later dropped because of issues with the evidence. The officer said he did not send the evidence to the Washington State Patrol Crime Laboratory because there was not enough of the suspected marijuana to test, according to the warrant.

“We are conducting an investigation and it is still ongoing,” Issaquah Police Chief Paul Ayers said today. He declined to comment further, citing the ongoing investigation.

Medina Police Chief Jeff Chen could not be reached for comment.

Reach Reporter Warren Kagarise at 392-6434, ext. 234, or wkagarise@isspress.com. Comment on this story at www.issaquahpress.com.

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