Ex-officer wins request to end sex offender filing
A former Spokane police sergeant convicted in 1994 of raping a deaf developmentally disabled woman no longer must register as a sex offender.
William A. Gentry, 67, told a Spokane judge Friday that he was fighting severe depression in 1993 and had a gun to his temple just moments before the 20-year-old victim, who had the mental maturity of an 8-year-old, came into a Spokane COPS station and asked to have sex.
Gentry, who was allowed to stay out of prison until 1997 pending his appeal, said through his attorney that he received treatment for his depression after he got out of prison in 2001, has not committed any new offenses, and wants to be able to live without the burden of registering as a sex offender.
“I am very ashamed of what I did in 1993 and very sorry for the trouble I caused my victim and my family,” Gentry wrote in court records. “For now I just want to live peacefully and be able to travel occasionally with my wife.”
Deputy Spokane County Prosecutor Patrick Johnson objected to the request, asking Superior Court Judge Ellen Kalama Clark to continue the requirement that Gentry register as a sex offender, noting that Gentry never received any treatment for his sex offense.
“The defendant violated a position of trust as a patrol sergeant,” Johnson said in his brief. “He raped a vulnerable, mentally and physically disabled 20-year-old female.”
Clark sided with Gentry, noting that the former police sergeant voluntarily sought treatment for his depression and that at his age he’s unlikely to reoffend.
Gentry publicly apologized both to the community and the department, which allowed him to retire on a medical disability rather than being fired, according to court records.
Then in 1997, Gentry filed a federal lawsuit against the city alleging that police officials questioned him about criminal activity during what was supposed to be an internal affairs interview.
Gentry also alleged that police psychologist Deanette Palmer violated doctor-patient privilege by asking him about criminal activity during therapy for depression.
U.S. District Court Judge Robert Whaley dismissed that suit six months later.
Gentry, who attended the hearing with his wife of 46 years, declined comment after the hearing.