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Pullman psychologist accused of sexual assault found dead of suspected suicide in Whitman County Jail

UPDATED: Mon., Feb. 19, 2018, 7:09 p.m.

Dean Funabiki (Facebook)
Dean Funabiki (Facebook)

A Pullman therapist and psychologist arrested last week on suspicion of sexual assault was found dead in his Whitman County Jail cell Sunday night.

Sheriff Brett Myers said a corrections officer found Dean Funabiki in his cell about 11:30 p.m. Life-saving measures were taken at the jail, and he was transported to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Funabiki, 67, was accused of sexually assaulting a patient in her 40s during a therapy session in January, according to the Pullman Police Department.

Myers said Funabiki used a sheet to hang himself.

Funabiki was not on suicide watch, and there were not signs that he was suicidal, Myers said. It’s been about a decade since the last suicide in the Whitman County Jail.

After the alleged assault was reported, police said swabs were collected from the victim during a sexual assault examination and a search warrant was issued to collect DNA from Funabiki.

The Washington State Patrol’s crime lab matched Funabiki’s DNA to the victim’s swabs, police said.

He faced a charge of second-degree rape and was scheduled Monday to appear in court.