A former Pasco police officer who is a suspect in a 1986 homicide in Spokane remains free though he was charged on Thursday in a separate rape case.
Richard J. Aguirre’s attorney, Scott Johnson, said his client is innocent in both cases.
Aguirre was charged with third-degree rape on Thursday in Franklin County. The Tri-City Herald reported that court documents in the rape case show that a woman told police that she and Aguirre shared a bed at Aguirre’s house. Documents say the woman reported that Aguirre sexually assaulted her, but that she was unable to “push him off or say no because of shock and the effects of alcohol,” the documents say, according to the newspaper. Tests found his DNA on her underwear, and Aguirre told police he had no idea how it could have gotten there.
Johnson said the woman’s perceptions as a result of alcohol consumption are an important factor in the case.
The DNA test conducted as a result of the rape allegation is what linked Aguirre to the homicide in Spokane.
Ruby Doss was found strangled on Jan. 30, 1986, near East Sprague Avenue, where she had been working as a prostitute.
“It’s really hard to remember a lot of specific details from 30 years ago, but he believes he was an acquaintance of Ms. Doss,” Johnson said on Friday. Johnson declined to say if Aguirre was a customer of hers or to further explain their relationship.
At the time of Doss’ death, Aguirre was in the Air Force and stationed at Fairchild Air Force Base, Johnson said. In 1987, he was transferred to South Korea.
Johnson said Aguirre had not planned to resign as a result of the Franklin County case but opted to after Spokane police notified him that his DNA made him a suspect in the 1986 strangulation.
“He just believed Pasco police are going through enough,” Johnson said, referring to the controversial police shooting in Pasco in February. “He was able to retire for the good of everybody.”
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