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Second trial starts for former Pasco officer accused of rape, assault

UPDATED: Wed., March 22, 2017, 11:42 a.m.

FILE – Former Pasco police officer Richard Aguirre, left, stands with his attorney Scott Johnson Tuesday June 30, 2015 during an omnibus hearing in Franklin County Superior Court for his Pasco rape and assault case. (BOB BRAWDY The Tri-City Herald / Tri-City Herald)
FILE – Former Pasco police officer Richard Aguirre, left, stands with his attorney Scott Johnson Tuesday June 30, 2015 during an omnibus hearing in Franklin County Superior Court for his Pasco rape and assault case. (BOB BRAWDY The Tri-City Herald / Tri-City Herald)

“Who are you?” a woman said she asked Richard Aguirre after waking up from an alleged sexual assault.

She knew Aguirre her entire life, took trips with him, and at one point hoped to follow the former Pasco police officer into law enforcement.

The alleged victim was the first witness Tuesday in Aguirre’s second trial for charges of third-degree rape and fourth-degree assault in Franklin County Superior Court. A previous trial in July ended without a verdict after nearly 13 hours of deliberation.

The woman is not named under a Herald policy not to identify people who report being sexually assaulted.

Under questioning by Deputy Prosecutor Frank Jenny, she told jurors she headed into Pasco in November 2014 to meet Aguirre for dinner and waited outside P.F. Chang’s restaurant for about three hours. They were joined by her cousin and his wife, and the four traveled to another bar and later a nightclub.

She testified to having several drinks before ending up at Aguirre’s house. After getting a long T-shirt from the defendant, she went to bed.

Her voice broke several times in court as she detailed the attack, and the moments after it. She escaped his bedroom by saying she needed to call about her children. Once outside the home, she called her child’s father.

She told Aguirre that one of her sons was acting up and she needed to go her child’s father’s home.

The man told jurors when he tried to call the woman back, he wasn’t able to get through. So he sent her a text message, asking where she was.

The text message was one of a series that became a focus for Aguirre’s defense and the prosecution. In response, the victim told the man that Aguirre was going to take her to his house, and “Please don’t let me leave with him.”

“As soon as she crossed my threshold, she broke down crying,” the man described the woman’s arrival at his home.

He told Aguirre that she didn’t want to leave with him.

On cross-examination, defense attorney John Henry Browne questioned whether the woman was continuing that affair with the father of her first son – the same man she left her boys with on the night of the alleged attack.

Multiple times, he pressed her about how she spent the three hours between her dropping off her sons and meeting Aguirre.

In opening statements, Browne said the day was one of the coldest of the year, with temperatures in the teens.

She was passing the time on Facebook, Pinterest and other applications on her phone, outside the restaurant while she waited, she told jurors.

During the same period of time, she turned down phone calls from her sister and her mom. She agreed it was unusual for her not to take the calls.

The questions eventually led Browne to ask if she stayed at the other man’s house during the three hours.

“Your testimony in July was, ‘We sat in the parking lot for three hours,’ correct?” Browne asked.

“Correct,” she answered.

The defense attorney also pursued the series of text messages between her and her former lover.

She agreed she deleted the series of messages between her and the man from her phone, and that they had to be recovered from the other man’s phone.

“Between the 16th and the 18th, you deleted many things off of your phone, didn’t you?” Browne asked.

“I can’t remember,” the woman said.

Browne alleged in his opening statement that the woman previously asked her uncle to drive her to visit her boyfriend during a Seattle trip.

When the question was asked, she denied it.


 

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