June 11, 2013 in City

Investigation finished into Colville police officer

Colville Officer Rex Newport on leave since March
By The Spokesman-Review
 

The Stevens County Sheriff’s office has completed its sexual misconduct investigation of Colville Police Officer Rex Newport and has turned the case over to prosecutors.

Stevens County Prosecutor Tim Rasmussen, however, said he has formally requested that the state Office of Attorney General handle charging decisions and any potential prosecution of the longtime officer.

Rasmussen explained that since his office has worked with Newport on criminal cases, he believes it would be a conflict to personally handle any charging decisions or prosecution.

“I have been informed that a special Assistant Attorney General with experience in sexual assault cases will be assigned to review the investigative file and make a charging decision if warranted,” Rasmussen said. “I believe this is the best policy to follow to make sure as much as possible that the interests of justice are served.”

Rasmussen would not say whether Stevens County detectives suggested criminal charges or simply turned over the investigation for further consideration. Efforts to reach Stevens County Sheriff Kendle Allen were not immediately successful.

Frank Harrill, supervisory senior resident agent of the Spokane office of the FBI, confirmed that agents continue to investigate allegations related to Newport, but said he could not comment further because it remains an open investigation.

Harrill previously said the FBI opened its case after allegations were made that Newport violated victims’ civil rights by committing a crime while he was on duty.

Spokane attorney Jeffry Finer previously said he was retained by one of the women who have made allegations against Newport.

Finer said he’s been told that the case involves up to four victims and that he personally requested the FBI to investigate allegations of “sexual assault by someone in uniform while on duty.”

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 in April. “That’s as broadly as I can describe the allegations.”

Newport, who has worked for Colville for about 15 years, was placed on administrative leave in March.

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