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

Spokane attorney found not guilty of rape, kidnapping charges

A jury on Tuesday found Spokane attorney Bob Caruso not guilty of kidnapping and raping a 22-year-old woman.

Caruso, who ran for county prosecutor in 2006, was accused of approaching the woman and offering to take her to a hospital after she was hurt in a car crash in 2014. Instead, the woman alleged, he took her to his home and gave her alcohol and pills before handcuffing her to his bed and raping her.

A witness found the woman hiding in some bushes on Seventh Avenue wearing only underwear. The woman told police she had escaped Caruso’s condo after he fell asleep, according to court documents.

Caruso and his attorney, David Partovi, declined to comment after his acquittal. Partovi has stated in court documents that the sex was consensual and that his client is a victim of “malicious prosecution.”

The defense sought to discredit the woman’s claims by showing the jury documentation of a previous drunken-driving charge against her. They also sought to disclose records about her from Child Protective Services and claimed she was trying to “manipulate the court” to “get out of trouble.”

Judge Maryann Moreno declined to admit that documentation as evidence. In a written order, she called the defense’s claims “nonsensical” and said “there is simply no logical connection” between the rape case and the woman’s previous legal troubles.

The trial lasted more than two weeks. It was previously postponed while Caruso, 78, received treatment for colon cancer.