May 29, 2013 in City

GU worker faces child rape charges

By The Spokesman-Review
 

A Spokane man has been charged with child rape and molestation in a case that has prompted Gonzaga University officials to review on-campus security measures.

Timothy D. Woodard, 48, a Gonzaga employee, is facing seven felony charges, including first-degree rape and first-degree child molestation, stemming from events that the victim said occurred in 1998 or 1999 when he was 10.

The charges prompted an email from Gonzaga University President Thayne McCulloh, who wrote university staff because Woodard continued to work there as a general maintenance employee. Once officials learned of the charges, they placed Woodard on administrative leave.

“The allegations state that some abuse may have taken place on Gonzaga’s campus; specifically, there are allegations that one or more instances occurred in our fitness facilities,” McCulloh wrote in an email obtained by The Spokesman-Review. “The incidents alleged in these charges are extremely serious, and I am deeply saddened to learn of them.”

In addition to sexual abuse, the young victim described being shown hidden peep holes in 2003 that allowed him and others to watch women undressing in a campus locker room. The university, in its Friday letter to employees, said it has conducted a thorough review of all facilities mentioned in the charging documents and can assert that they are “maintained with the highest standard of privacy, safety and security in mind.”

According to court records, Woodard was working at the time both at Burgan’s Furniture and Gonzaga when he spent many hours with the victim, who was a family friend.

Court records do not indicate why the victim waited but note that he recently provided a videotaped interview to Clark County sheriff’s investigators. That interview was forwarded to Spokane police, and charges were filed earlier this month.

The victim told investigators that sex acts occurred both at the furniture store and on Gonzaga’s campus in the “library, in closets, locker rooms, and in the gym area,” according to court records.

According to court records, Woodard would often pay the boy cash following the sex acts that continued for about five years.

Deputy Spokane County Prosecutor Eugene Cruz said the alleged crimes fall within the statute of limitations, meaning the case can proceed.

Woodard, who was not in custody on Tuesday, is scheduled to appear for an arraignment on June 4.

Staff writer Kaitlin Gillespie contributed to this report.


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