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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Former deputy accused of raping inmate at Spokane Indian Reservation jail

A former jail deputy on the Spokane Indian Reservation is accused of raping an inmate.

Clifford Arlen Matherly, 35, was arrested at a gas station in Chewelah, Wash., on Monday, according to the FBI.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Cynthia Imbrogno ordered Matherly released from Spokane County Jail on Tuesday after he pleaded not guilty to a grand jury indictment. He’s to report to all court hearings and is prohibited from contacting the alleged victim, who prosecutors say still lives in the community.

“I can’t emphasize enough how righteous you have to be in that regard,” Imbrogno said. Matherly is licensed to carry a firearm, but conditions of his release prohibit him from doing so.

Matherly was arrested on a criminal complaint charging him with sexual abuse of a ward, which carries a maximum 15 years in prison. The grand jury indictment, which was returned early Tuesday, includes a lesser offense of abusive sexual contact with a ward, which carries a maximum 10 years in prison.

The charges allege Matherly had sexual contact with a woman identified only as AF1 while she was under his “care, custody and supervision” at the Bureau of Indian Affairs jail in May 2008.

A man who answered the phone at the jail in Wellpinit, Wash., said Matherly resigned “a couple years” ago.

Jamie Sijohn, spokeswoman for the Spokane Tribe, did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Supporters of Matherly who attended his appearance Tuesday in U.S. District Court in downtown Spokane declined comment.

The U.S. attorney’s office in Seattle is prosecuting the case because of a conflict with the Spokane office, which often handles cases involving tribal inmates.

Matherly was a defendant in a wrongful death lawsuit filed against the tribal jail in 2007 after a 28-year-old woman died of heart failure after being denied medical attention. The lawsuit was settled in 2009 for $253,000.

Matherly also received a Hometown Hero award from the American Red Cross in 2009 for his work saving about 40 emaciated horses on the reservation.