Gordon Ennis wants another shot at proving his innocence.
The former Spokane police sergeant convicted of raping a fellow officer at a house party in 2015 will argue Friday in court that his trial attorney Rob Cossey held evidence he says would have swayed the jury toward acquittal. A jury, after a two-week-long trial earlier this year, deliberated for just two hours, finding him guilty.
His request hinges on a conversation he and his wife, Kirsten Ennis, overheard in October 2015 between Cossey and Chris Bugbee, the then-attorney for Officer Doug Strosahl, who owns the Colbert home where the sexual assault occurred.
Ennis filed motions in June saying there was reason to believe Strosahl had consensual sex with the victim at the same party and before the assault. Bugbee’s attorney argued in June that the conversation was privileged information between two attorneys. Also, he said, it was a hypothetical.
“Mr. Cossey told us that (the victim) believed Doug Strosahl to be me,” Ennis wrote in his motion. “We were told that this was important.”
Ennis, who was convicted on March 7 of second-degree rape, was accused of sexually assaulting a newly-hired officer while she slept after drinking heavily at the house party. The woman testified in court that she awoke to Ennis’ fingers inside her before he left the room while muttering “Uh, I gotta go.”
Ennis is facing a sentence of up to eight years in prison and would then have to register as a sex offender upon release. A sentencing date was set shortly after the jury’s verdict but was subsequently delayed when Ennis fired Cossey and hired defense attorney Mark Vovos for his appeal process.
Rather than wait until after sentencing to appeal, Vovos filed a motion for a new trial in superior court, keeping the decision with Judge Maryann Moreno, who presided over the criminal trial that began Feb. 26 and ended March 7.
Sentencing is now scheduled for Aug. 24 pending the results of Friday’s hearing.
Subscribe to the Morning Review newsletter
Get the day’s top headlines delivered to your inbox every morning by subscribing to our newsletter