June 12, 2013 in City

Misconduct investigation of Colville officer ends

Office of Attorney General will decide on prosecution
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 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 because his office has worked with Newport on criminal cases, he believes it would be a conflict to personally handle any charging decisions or following 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. Rasmussen would not say whether Stevens County detectives suggested criminal charges when they turned over the investigation.

Stevens County Sheriff Kendle Allen did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Frank Harrill, supervisory senior resident agent of the Spokane office of the FBI, confirmed Tuesday 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 a woman who made allegations against Newport. Finer said he’s been told that the case involves up to four victims, and he personally requested the FBI to investigate allegations of “sexual assault by someone in uniform while on duty.”

“The case involves official authority and sex and, in some instances, nonconsensual sex,” Finer said in April. “That’s as broadly as I can describe the allegations.”

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

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