FBI joins investigation into Colville police officer
Federal agents have joined the investigation into a Colville police officer who has been placed on administrative leave after women came forward with allegations of sexual misconduct.
The investigation of Officer Rex Newport, who has been on the force for about 15 years, was first turned over to the Stevens County Sheriff’s Office. The FBI opened its case after allegations were made that Newport violated the victim’s civil rights by committing a crime while he was on duty.
Frank Harrill, supervisory senior resident agent of the Spokane office of the FBI, said he was limited about what he could publicly discuss because the investigation has just begun.
“We are aware of the incident surrounding Officer Newport and we are investigating those allegations,” Harill said. Agents will spend the “time necessary to conduct a thorough and professional investigation.”
Investigators were alerted to the case early last month but no criminal charges have been filed, Stevens County Prosecutor Tim Rasmussen said.
“I have not received investigative materials from the investigation,” Rasmussen said, declining further comment.
Spokane attorney Jeffry Finer said he has been retained by one of the women who have made allegations against Newport.
Finer said he personally asked for the FBI to join the investigation after speaking with his client. Finer said he’s been told that the case involves up to four victims.
“I have sought FBI assistance on my client’s behalf,” Finer said. “She is presenting a claim for a civil rights violation … for sexual assault by someone in uniform and while on duty.”
Finer said he spent most of Friday in Colville and was surprised at the reaction he received from bar tenders and gas attendants and other locals.
“They seem to know more about it than I do,” Finer said. “I met five people who immediately knew who I was and what I was doing.”
Finer would not be more specific about the allegations against Newport other than that they are of an “egregious nature.”
“The case involves official authority and sex and in some instances, non-consensual sex,” Finer said. “That’s as broadly as I can describe the allegations.”
Sheriff Kendle Allen could not be reached for comment.