March 23, 2012 in City

In brief: Bible student alleges groping in park

 

A Moody Bible Institute student who hoped to teach a man she met in Mission Park about God was instead groped and asked to smoke marijuana, according to Spokane police.

Officers say 40-year-old John L. Sanders continued acting inappropriately after his arrest by repeatedly asking two female Spokane police officers to have sex with him.

Sanders told the officers he hoped they would strip-search him and repeatedly made kissing sounds at them, according to court documents.

The officers had arrested Sanders on a warrant March 16 after the Bible school student told them she’d walked to the park to relieve stress and saw someone trying to get her attention. She was not wearing glasses and “assumed it was someone from her acting class or her church,” according to court documents.

When she realized she didn’t know the man, the woman said “she felt she might have an opportunity to minister” to him, according to documents.

The man then touched her breast and asked her to smoke marijuana with him, she told police. The woman tried to leave, but the man kissed her on the lips, grabbed her and made inappropriate comments and noises.

Officers responded to the park and arrested Sanders on the unrelated warrant.

A detective assigned to follow up realized Sanders had been arrested for a similar incident in downtown Spokane on Aug. 22. Sanders pleaded guilty to fourth-degree assault and was credited for 51 days served in jail.

The victim identified Sanders from a photo montage on Wednesday, and he was booked into jail on a felony charge of indecent liberties.

Victim finds stolen items at pawn shop

A man suspected of burglarizing a north Spokane County home of a shotgun and a video game system turned himself in after being confronted by a detective Wednesday.

Kory M. Roberts, 23, is suspected of stealing the gun and Xbox 360 from a home in the 31300 block of North Staghorn Road on Tuesday, then selling them at a Spokane pawn shop.

The victim located the items at the pawn shop and contacted police. Roberts provided the shop his contact information when he sold the goods, according to the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.

Spokane County sheriff’s Detective Tamie Spitzer called Roberts on Wednesday, and he turned himself in at the Public Safety Building “within a couple hours,” according to a news release by sheriff’s spokesman Deputy Craig Chamberlin.

Roberts was booked into jail Wednesday on two counts of first-degree trafficking in stolen property.

Would-be victim helps nab suspect

A homeowner interrupted a burglary Wednesday afternoon and provided such a thorough description of the man that police were able to arrest a suspect about an hour later.

The victim was at his home in the 1700 block of East Illinois Avenue about 2 p.m. when he heard someone trying to get in the front door. He chased the would-be burglar away and provided officers not only a description but also the license plate number of the car in which he fled, according to the Spokane Police Department.

Officer Ken Applewhaite spotted the car about an hour later and contacted the driver, Robert Monreal Hoguin, 40, who matched the description of the culprit. The homeowner identified Hoguin as the man who tried to break into his home, according to police.

Police say they found heroin in Hoguin’s coat. He was booked into jail on charges of attempted residential burglary and possession of a controlled substance.

Hoguin was arrested on suspicion of car theft Feb. 3, but he was released when prosecutors did not file charges within 72 hours, according to court records.

Woman accused of stealing from tribe

A Spokane woman is accused of stealing nearly $30,000 from the Coeur d’Alene Tribal Housing Authority.

Debora J. Zimmerman, 46, was indicted Tuesday by a federal grand jury for embezzlement from an Indian tribal organization, the U.S. attorney’s office announced Wednesday.

An arraignment date has not been set.

The indictment alleges Zimmerman stole more than $28,000 from the housing authority between September 2008 and September 2010.

If convicted, Zimmerman faces up to five years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000 and not more than three years of probation. The case was investigated by the FBI.

Agent admits felony insurance fraud

A Spokane man who embezzled more than $350,000 from a Coeur d’Alene insurance company has pleaded guilty to three federal felonies.

James K. Sokolis, 56, faces up to 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of probation when he’s sentenced June 12 by Judge B. Lynn Winmill in U.S. District Court in Coeur d’Alene.

Sokolis pleaded guilty Wednesday to three counts of insurance fraud. Sokolis was an insurance agent who previously owned and operated Rockwood Insurance in Coeur d’Alene.

He sold his share of the business in August 2010 and was hired to work for the new company. He was fired after admitting to misusing client money. Sokolis misappropriated $356,629.46, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.


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