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Thursday, December 5, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Spokane police officer accused of rape released from jail without bail, remains on paid leave

UPDATED: Mon., Nov. 25, 2019

Spokane Police Officer Nathan Nash (KHQ Local News)
Spokane Police Officer Nathan Nash (KHQ Local News)

Spokane police Officer Nathan Nash, who was arrested Friday afternoon on a second-degree rape charge, was released from jail on his own recognizance the following evening, ahead of his upcoming first court appearance Tuesday.

Nash is accused of penetrating a woman with his fingers while he was investigating a domestic-violence related assault she reported eight days prior. According to courts records, the woman had lowered her pants for him to examine bruises from the assault.

Superior Court Commissioner Nichole Swennumson signed off on Nash’s release without bail on Saturday, according to court officials and jail records. Washington judicial regulations mandate that courts presume the release of people who are are not charged with a capital offense if they are likely to appear in court, not commit a violent crime and not seek to intimidate witnesses.

Nash, through his attorneys Rocky Treppiedi and Chris Bugbee, denies the allegations.

“We will defend any and all charges at trial, and look forward to full exoneration,” Treppiedi wrote in a statement.

Treppiedi, a former assistant city attorney, was fired in 2012 following complaints about the controversial tactics used to defend officers involved in the Otto Zehm case. Bugbee once worked in the Spokane County Prosecutor’s Office and ran for elected prosecutor.

The Spokane Police Department also opened an internal investigation to determine if department policy violations occurred. Nash remains on paid administrative leave pending any developments in that investigation.

“It is an investigation that, in some ways, would mirror the criminal investigation that has taken place,” said Sgt. Terry Preuninger, a police spokesman. The investigations differ because “there are things that he may have done wrong for us that have no criminal bearing.”

Nash also is charged with two counts of official misconduct.

Nash was hired by the Spokane Police Department in 2018 and trained at the basic law enforcement academy, according to Preuninger. He joined the Spokane police after more than a decade working as a part of Department of Energy special response security team for the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, according to Nash’s LinkedIn profile and a Hanford employee newsletter.

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