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

Alleged assault on Spokane police officer was at party hosted by another officer

An alleged sexual assault involving Spokane police officers early Sunday took place at a party thrown at another officer’s home, according to court documents.

The officer under investigation on suspicion of second-degree rape was identified in court documents as patrol Sgt. Gordon Ennis.

The alleged victim in the case is another police officer on the force. She told investigators she went to a party at the home of Officer Doug Strosahl Saturday evening. She said she had at least four drinks and eventually passed out.

She said Ennis arrived at the party several hours after she did. After she passed out, she was placed in a guest bedroom, according to court documents. She told investigators that she awoke to find Ennis sitting next to her and said he had his hand down her pants and was fondling her, according to court documents. She said she tried to get away, and Ennis abruptly said he had to go home and left.

The woman told investigators she had been wearing borrowed clothes during the alleged assault because she had gone into a hot tub during the evening. She left those clothes at the home when she departed.

According to court documents, the woman told several co-workers, including Strosahl, what had happened to her. She reportedly spoke to Strosahl before she left his home Sunday morning. Another co-worker advised her to tell a superior officer, court documents say.

The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office is leading the investigation into the incident.

Ennis’ attorney, Rob Cossey, declined to comment on the investigation.

Ennis has been placed on paid administrative leave.

Police spokeswoman Officer Teresa Fuller said Strosahl has not been placed on leave. Strosahl has hired attorney Chris Bugbee.

According to court documents, Bugbee told investigators Monday that the clothing worn during the alleged assault may have been washed and they’d need a search warrant to get them. Investigators got a warrant and collected the clothing and bedding from the room.

Bugbee said Strosahl is not under investigation.

“I represent witnesses all the time,” he said. “He’s just being careful.”

Investigators have obtained a search warrant to collect Ennis’ cellphone records. A sheriff’s detective working on the case wrote in court records that it appeared that Ennis had been tipped off through “information sharing” about the warrant because Ennis knew about it before he was contacted by investigators.

Ennis was involved in an investigation in 2011 after he struck and killed an intoxicated pedestrian on Monroe Street with his patrol car. Ennis told investigators he had been typing a message to another officer on his onboard computer just before the crash. No charges were filed by the prosecutor’s office and an internal investigation exonerated him of any wrongdoing.