A Pullman Police Department sergeant accused of first-degree custodial sexual misconduct with a Washington State University student pleaded not guilty Friday.
Sgt. Dan Hargraves entered his plea during a quick hearing at Whitman County Superior Court. His trial is scheduled for Jan. 14.
Hargraves, a 19-year veteran of the department, was arrested at the Pullman Police Department on Oct. 30 after a nearly six-month investigation that began in April, when an 18-year-old WSU student alleged she was sexually assaulted by an officer who gave her a ride home in the early hours of March 31.
According to court documents, Hargraves first came into contact with the student on campus at about 11:46 p.m. March 30. He directed her to get in the back seat of his police vehicle after observing her stumbling and appearing intoxicated. He allegedly drove the woman to her dorm and gave her a warning for her intoxication.
Later that night, at 12:45 a.m., Hargraves’ vehicle was observed on a surveillance camera driving down Linden Avenue toward the woman’s dorm, where Hargraves observed her standing outside her dorm again, court documents stated.
He allegedly told her he was going to take her to the police station. The woman reported Hargraves did not place handcuffs on her, but she thought she was going to be arrested at the station.
According to court documents, she was crying in the back seat and pleaded with Hargraves, saying, “I’ll do anything to not get arrested.”
Hargraves allegedly asked her, “What are you willing to do?”
The woman’s cellphone location indicated she arrived near Reaney Park. According to the affidavit of probable cause, Hargraves “opened her door and instructed her to get out and get on her knees.” The woman “said she remembered hearing him undo his pants and has a vague recollection of performing oral sex on Hargraves,” according to the affidavit of probable cause.
Hargraves then allegedly drove around for some time before dropping the woman off at Rogers Hall, where she requested.
After the alleged incident, the student reported it to the WSU Office of Equal Opportunity on April 5, which reported it to the WSU Police Department.
A WSP forensic scientist found semen on the sleeve of her clothing. On Aug. 14, the scientist found the DNA comparison showed a match between Hargraves’s DNA sample and the DNA found on the sleeve.
The Pullman and WSU police departments requested the Washington State Patrol initiate a criminal investigation after learning of the allegation.
WSP made the arrest and the PPD launched an internal investigation independent of the criminal investigation to determine if Hargraves violated the department’s rules of conduct, policies or procedures.
Hargraves was released from jail following his initial hearing Oct. 31
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