The president of the Spokane Police Guild was placed on paid administrative leave Thursday as part of the investigation into an alleged sexual assault at a party last month.
Spokane Police Sgt. John Gately’s status was announced in a one-sentence news release from city spokesman Brian Coddington, who said he could not comment on why Gately was placed on leave.
Officer Doug Strosahl was host for a party at his home on Oct. 25. A female police officer who attended passed out after consuming several drinks. She told investigators that she awoke in a guest bedroom to find Sgt. Gordon Ennis with his hand down her pants, fondling her. She reported the incident to Strosahl before she left his home the next morning, according to court documents.
Ennis is on paid administrative leave, as is Strosahl, who is being investigated for possible evidence tampering. Investigators say that the borrowed clothing the woman was wearing at the time of the alleged assault was washed before they could collect the items from Strosahl’s home as evidence, according to court documents. Strosahl also declined to tell investigators who had attended the party.
Investigators wrote in court documents that they believe someone tipped Ennis off that he was the target of an investigation and that detectives planned to request a search warrant to collect his DNA. They reported that when they arrived in the office of Ennis’ attorney to serve the warrant and collect evidence, Ennis’ fingernails had recently been cut extremely short.
Gately has led the guild for about three years.
The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office is handling the investigation. Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich said he could not release details about Gately’s possible involvement in the case.
“He is a person of interest in the criminal investigation,” Knezovich said.
Coddington said he is handling news releases on the case because of a possible conflict of interest involving SPD spokeswoman Officer Teresa Fuller, but he said that it is his understanding that Fuller was not at Strosahl’s party.
He said Fuller is a potential witness and cannot be a spokeswoman on the case.
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