Sirens & Gavels

Courthouse watch: 8.3.09

A man accused of raping a woman in north Spokane was arrested on a similar charge last year but cleared after a jury couldn't reach a verdict.

Justin L. Dehn, 22, remains in Spokane County Jail on $25,000 bail after appearing in Superior Court on one charge of second-degree rape and two charges of indecent liberties.

Spokane police responded to a rape call early Sunday and found Dehn walking a few blocks from 6700 N. Standard, where three women said Dehn had assaulted them after they returned from a party on the South Hill, according to a probable cause affidavit.

One woman told police she awoke to Dehn raping her; two others said he’d groped them, according to the affidavit.

The alleged rape victim's boyfriend was sleeping next to the bed and called 911 when he awoke to her screaming that she'd been raped, according to the affidavit.

Spokane County Deputy Prosecutor John Love requested a $100,000 bail, citing Dehn's previous arrest, but Judge Ellen Kalama Clark noted Dehn's lack of criminal history when she set the bail much lower.

Dehn was charged in June 2008 with second-degree rape for an incident a woman said happened in December 2006.

A jury couldn't reach a verdict after a two-day trial in March "much to the disappointment of the state," said Love, who prosecuted the case.

The state dropped the charge in April.

Today, Dehn's public defender, Stephen Heintz, argued there wasn't even probable cause to hold him on the current charges and urged Clark to remember Dehn was never convicted of the previous charge.

"Twelve people couldn't decide," Heintz said. "That shouldn't be held against Mr. Dehn."

Dehn’s arraignment is set for Aug. 18.




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