A Pullman police sergeant charged this week with first-degree custodial sexual misconduct was the focus of a 2016 internal affairs investigation at the Pullman Police Department, which found he had propositioned a female department employee for sex.
Sgt. Jerry Daniel “Dan” Hargraves, 49, was arrested and charged Tuesday on an accusation that he received oral sex from a Washington State University student near a public park in late March in exchange for letting her off the hook for underage drinking. Court records say his semen was found on the victim’s sleeve.
But two years before the incident, the 19-year veteran of the department was reprimanded after he sent a text message to a female employee asking her for sex. The woman reported the incident first to a friend, which made its way to another officer who then notified a sergeant.
In an internal affairs investigation and subsequent report written by Sgt. Jake Opgenorth, obtained Thursday by The Spokesman-Review in a public records request, the sergeant details a conversation he had with the woman shortly after the texts were first reported on May 25, 2016.
The woman reportedly told Opgenorth she and Hargraves began texting back and forth while he was headed to the Tri-Cities for training sometime around the end of summer in 2015. She told Opgenorth that Hargraves initially contacted her for directions while she was at work, but then began “chitchatting.”
She said before long, Hargraves started mentioning his hotel room and referred to the conversation as “cheating.” The woman, who was apparently a friend of Hargraves’ romantic partner, who also worked at the Pullman Police Department, told Opgenorth she found the topic of conversation to be odd.
Then, she said, Hargraves told her he has a “really big secret.”
“Ok … so here is my little secret,” he wrote, according to a screenshot the woman saved of the conversation. “Don’t get offended but for the longest time now I’ve really, really wanted to get naked with you.”
The woman reportedly told him no, and after asking him if he was interested only in sex and not a relationship, he apparently apologized and asked her not to tell anyone, especially his partner.
The woman told Opgenorth that she notified her friend, who was dating Hargraves, about the text and it apparently made her feel sick. The woman said her friend was also “not sleeping, not eating and having heart problems,” and she took sick time off work. The report states the friend eventually quit and began working for Washington State University.
The woman who received the texts told the sergeant she was apprehensive about reporting the conduct as she didn’t want this to “label her.”
“She does not want it costing someone their job who has been here a really long time for being stupid,” Opgenorth wrote in his report. “She said Dan was not the first guy to do something like that but hopefully the last.”
When Opgenorth interviewed Hargraves, he reportedly admitted to sending the text. But, he said, the conversation, which lasted for about an hour, had started to progress in a “flirting manner” before he propositioned her for sex.
“Hargraves thought the texting was mutual,” Opgenorth wrote.
Still, the investigation found Hargraves to be in violation of the city’s anti-harassment policy. As part of his punishment, he was forced to undergo “supervisory counseling,” and was ordered to refrain from similar conduct in the future.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter
Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.