May 3, 2013 in City

Rapist: City of Pullman withheld, deleted emails

Inmate serving 111 months to life in prison for rape, burglary
Tony Buhr Murrow News Service

COLFAX – A former pornography star convicted of rape has filed four lawsuits against the city of Pullman over alleged public record request violations.

In court documents, Christopher Reid, now an inmate of Stafford Creek Correctional Facility near Aberdeen, Wash., alleges the city intentionally withheld or destroyed email.

“Everything I’ve asked for has been in regards to my case,” said Reid, who was convicted of rape and burglary and sentenced to 111 months to life in prison.

Reid has also tried to settle with the city twice, he said. He requested $67,000, as well as an admission that a city officer’s report was erroneous, and that a witness had identified another suspect in a photo lineup. Reid has since dropped his request for financial compensation.

Pullman Mayor Glenn Johnson said the allegations are false and that Reid is harassing the city for revenge.

“He wants to make sure we are in pain and suffering and sue us for public records requests we haven’t violated,” Johnson said.

In an interview, Reid said he respects public records law and sees it as a tool to challenge his conviction.

Reid alleges the city deleted emails requesting stock photos from the Department of Licensing for a police lineup on Sept. 13, 2007. Reid believes another man was selected by the rape victim instead of him. He received copies of some of the emails from the Department of Licensing, but the city responded saying it no longer had the documents he requested.

The city does not argue the fact that it deleted the emails, said City Attorney Laura McAloon.

“Pullman Police Department didn’t retain those emails because they were not relevant to the case,” she said. The city was in compliance with state law, she said.

As for the allegations that the rape victim selected another man in the lineup, “He has completely fabricated that,” McAloon said. “He cuts and pastes things and draws conclusions.”

  Reid argues that the city’s action violates state law, which says records can be destroyed only after six years or by permission of the Washington State Archives. The archives follows retention guidelines that vary depending on the document’s content.

 “There is no single retention period for email. The retention period depends on the content of the email,” said Russell Wood, records manager for the Washington State Archives. Reid has also sued the state archive office.

McAloon said the documents held no important information and the city doesn’t plan to give in to Reid’s demands.

Reid said he would continue to appeal his case and has issued a subpoena against the state archives.


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