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Thursday, March 21, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Spokane Police investigate Homeland Security contractor for alleged rape and burglary

UPDATED: Wed., June 7, 2017, 11:10 p.m.

An Homeland Security agent from Yakima is under investigation after a woman in North Spokane reported last week that a man entered her apartment, knocked her unconscious and raped her, according to court records. (Susan Walsh / AP)
An Homeland Security agent from Yakima is under investigation after a woman in North Spokane reported last week that a man entered her apartment, knocked her unconscious and raped her, according to court records. (Susan Walsh / AP)

Spokane Police detectives are investigating a Department of Homeland Security contract employee being accused of flashing his badge, then knocking a woman unconscious and raping her in her North Spokane apartment last week.

Court documents made available on Wednesday indicate that detectives obtained a search warrant to investigate the charges of first-degree rape, burglary and robbery against the contractor, who sources say provides security for DHS but is not an agent. The Spokesman-Review has refrained from naming the individual because he has not been charged with a crime.

The case began May 31 when officers responded to a call in the 6000 block of North Lidgerwood Street on a report of a “stranger-to-stranger” rape. The woman told officers that a man arrived at her apartment complex looking for someone named Sharon, which is not her name.

“The guy flashed an ID at her and said he worked for Homeland Security and he was up in Spokane (from Yakima) for training,” Spokane Detective Amy Woodyard wrote.

Both Spokane police Detective Ben Green and Robert Sperling, a spokesman from Homeland Security in Washington, D.C., identified the man as a contract employee.

“He’s not a federal agent,” Green said. “He misidentified himself. He works for a contractor who provides external security for some of (DHS’) properties. He likes to identify himself as a federal agent, but he is not.”

At the time of the encounter, the alleged victim said she was moving belongings from a friend into her apartment and she had left her door wide open.

“All of the sudden, she felt ‘hot breath’ against the right side of her neck and felt hands wrap around” her chest area, Woodyard wrote. The woman turned “and the male punched her in the face. After being punched in the face, she fell to the ground and lost consciousness.”

When she awoke, the woman said her pants had been removed and she discovered a credit card was missing.

Officers noted and photographed red marks on the woman’s nose, eye and right side of her face.

Investigators reached out to officials with Homeland Security who confirmed that they were conducting an annual training conference in Spokane. On Thursday, Spokane Police detectives arrived and the contract employee was excused from class.

The employee told investigators that he had been chatting on the hook-up website “BaDoo” and had met a woman named Sharon. He said they chatted about having a sexual encounter, according to court records.

The man, who is not in police custody, said he drove to Sharon’s address and said he met another woman, who was not Sharon, at that location.

He “said that he did show his ID to the female, and he did tell her that he worked for Homeland Security,” Woodyard wrote. The agent “said that the female suggested that he come in her apartment and have a beer.”

The man agreed and said he entered the woman’s apartment. He told detectives that she did not have any facial injuries at the time.

The man said he told the woman that “he wanted to have sex, but he did not have a condom with him, so he suggested that she go to his hotel room with him,” Woodyard wrote. “She refused. (The agent) said that when (the woman) went into the bathroom to freshen up” he left.

The contractor said he had his cellphone with him at the time and that it would provide GPS locations to determine where he was during the incident.

The search warrant, which was approved Friday by Superior Court Judge John Cooney, was seeking to seize the agent’s 2003 Dodge Ram pickup, his cellphone and saliva swabs to be tested for DNA matching.

Green confirmed the man had not been arrested as investigators await lab results from the search warrant. Green said he was not sure how long those results would take to be completed.

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