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Judge denies new rape trial for former Spokane police Sgt. Gordon Ennis

UPDATED: Thu., Aug. 16, 2018, 10 p.m.

Former Spokane Police Officer Gordon Ennis, center, is led from a Spokane County courtroom Wednesday, April 25, 2018 after his sentencing on rape charges was postponed while he changes attorneys, from Rob Cossey, second from left, to Mark Vovos. A judge rejected a new rape trial Thursday for Ennis, who is convicted of sexually assaulting another police officer during a drunken house party three years ago. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)
Former Spokane Police Officer Gordon Ennis, center, is led from a Spokane County courtroom Wednesday, April 25, 2018 after his sentencing on rape charges was postponed while he changes attorneys, from Rob Cossey, second from left, to Mark Vovos. A judge rejected a new rape trial Thursday for Ennis, who is convicted of sexually assaulting another police officer during a drunken house party three years ago. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)

A judge rejected a new rape trial Thursday for a former Spokane police sergeant convicted of sexually assaulting another police officer during a drunken house party three years ago.

Gordon Ennis sought a new trial after blaming his first attorney, Rob Cossey, for not adequately casting doubt on the victim’s testimony that pointed to Ennis as the sexual aggressor.

Ennis said Cossey and an attorney for police Officer Doug Strosahl, who owns the Colbert home where the party occurred, had a discussion that placed Strosahl and the victim as consensual sexual partners that night.

He also alleged that prosecutors violated his Fifth Amendment privilege when they told the jury during closing arguments that he did not talk to investigators before testifying in open court.

Spokane County Superior Court Judge Maryann Moreno rejected his arguments for a new trial.

“I can’t ignore the fact that Mr. Ennis was involved in law enforcement,” Moreno said. “He’s specifically trained. He was involved in his case since Day One. I don’t doubt that he had a significant role in determining strategy in how this case would proceed. I have no doubt that Mr. Ennis knew Mr. Strosahl’s testimony would not be admitted.”

Moreno also ruled that the state’s comments on the timing of Ennis’ testimony were, in context, specifically referring to his capacity as a witness when he took the stand. Moreover, she said he opened himself up to the statements when he offered unsolicited information that he’d been thinking about the case for many years.

“For all these reasons, I am going to deny a new motion for trial,” Moreno said.

Ennis is scheduled to be sentenced next week.


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