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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Judge refuses request to move Ennis rape trial over coverage

UPDATED: Tue., Aug. 29, 2017

Despite a request from both the defense attorney and a deputy prosecutor, a Spokane County judge denied a motion Tuesday to move the upcoming rape trial of Spokane Police Officer Gordon Ennis because of media coverage of the case.

Defense attorney Rob Cossey said he and Deputy Spokane County Prosecutor Kelly Fitzgerald sought to move the case but Superior Court Judge James Triplet denied the motion.

“He wants to see if we can get an impartial jury here in Spokane,” Cossey said.

Ennis was one of several police officers and civilians at a party hosted by Officer Doug Strosahl on Oct. 24, 2015. A female officer, who knew Ennis, reported that she passed out after having several drinks and woke up in a guest bedroom to find Ennis sitting next to her with his hand down her pants, fondling her.

Investigators charged Ennis with second-degree rape and the case was supposed to have gone to trial in June, but Cossey asked for and was granted a mistrial based a story in The Spokesman-Review about pretrial motions.

Then in July, an investigation revealed that Ennis tried to contact witnesses in the case.

As for the hearing on Tuesday, neither Cossey nor Fitzgerald suggested where Triplet should move the trial, which scheduled for early next year, Cossey said.

“We are just concerned about getting a jury that is fair and impartial based on the intensive coverage,” Cossey said.

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