An embattled Colville police officer accused of targeting women coming home from bars for sex while on duty wants the charges against him separated, arguing the alleged acts were not connected.
But prosecutors say Rex Newport, 45, developed a pattern of using his badge to take advantage of victims who did not feel free to decline his advances. The state Attorney General’s Office, which is handling the case, wants a jury to hear all the evidence against Newport, including DNA sample matches and sworn statements from women pulled over by Newport for driving drunk who say after sex he let them go without an investigation.
The 15-year veteran of the Colville Police Department has called the allegations against him a “hundred percent nonsense.” But in court filings, Assistant Attorney General John Hillman said DNA collected from a condom left in the apartment of a woman alleging Newport handcuffed and raped her in March matches the officer.
The chances of another person being the donor are 1 in 960 quintillion, according to the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab.
Newport argues that linking the March incident, for which he faces charges of residential burglary and unlawful imprisonment, to other incidents dating to 2011 would prejudice a jury against him. Investigators based additional charges against Newport on interviews with alleged victims, found by scanning the officer’s in-car computer for searches not related to law enforcement calls. Multiple women said Newport made traffic stops for DUI that ended with sex, not a breath analysis.
No DNA evidence linking Newport directly to these women has been uncovered.
The “risk of spillover prejudice is simply too high to allow these counts to be tried together,” Newport’s attorney, Michael Golden, wrote in a brief filed earlier this week in Stevens County Superior Court.
Judge Patrick Monasmith is expected to rule on whether the charges will be separated at a hearing next week. A trial in the case is tentatively scheduled for April.
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