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Former police guild president will not take stand in Gordon Ennis rape trial

UPDATED: Mon., March 5, 2018

FILE – Spokane Police Sgt. John Gately was arraigned in Suuperior Court on  Dec. 21, 2015. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)
FILE – Spokane Police Sgt. John Gately was arraigned in Suuperior Court on Dec. 21, 2015. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)

Former Spokane Police Guild President John Gately will not take the stand in the rape trial against former police Sgt. Gordon Ennis.

Speaking through his attorney Mark Vovos, Gatley told the court Monday morning that he intends to invoke his Fifth Amendment privilege and not answer questions related to his involvement in the case.

Ennis is accused of sexually assaulting a police officer at a party in 2015. At the time of the incident, Gately led the police guild.

In May 2016, Gately was tried in Spokane County Superior Court after he was accused of illegally informing Ennis about the forthcoming rape investigation. The obstruction case ended when the jury could not reach a decision. .

Prosecutors said they would not retry the case because they don’t often retry misdemeanor charges.

In court Monday, attorneys argued before Superior Court Judge Maryann Moreno whether the hearing to determine if Gatley could invoke his Fifth Amendment privilege should be open to the court. The state argued the court’s presumption of openness to the public, while Vovos said an open hearing could be used against Gately in future litigation.

Moreno sided with Vovos, and for about an hour, attorneys met privately with the judge. After the hearing and later after testimony in Ennis’ trial, Deputy Prosecutor Kelly Fitzgerald indicated she would not call Gately to the stand.

On May 17, 2016, a hung jury sided 8-4 in favor of acquittal in Gately’s trial. Police Chief Craig Meidl suspended Gatley for a month despite the recommendation from a department panel that concluded Gately did not violate department policy.

The case concerned two phone calls Gately made to Ennis after a female officer in the police department accused Ennis of sexually assaulting her at a party in October 2015.

The assistant police chief at the time, Selby Smith, testified in Gately’s trial that he notified Gately about the incident so he could provide assistance to the victim.

In the fourth day of Ennis’ trial Monday, prosecutors introduced evidence that showed Gately called Ennis no more than five minutes after lead Detective Brandon Armstrong with the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office was assigned the case. The rape was first reported to police department staff early in the morning, when the victim told Officer Doug Strosahl of the assault.

Immediately after Gately called Ennis and told him detectives were coming to execute a search warrant, Ennis hired defense attorney Rob Cossey.

Detectives attempted to acquire DNA evidence from Ennis at Cossey’s office a day after the rape was reported, but discovered the defendant’s fingernails were too short.

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