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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Woman says Spokane police officer sexually assaulted her while investigating domestic dispute

A Spokane police patrol car is seen in 2014. The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a Spokane Police Officer who allegedly sexually assaulted a woman while responding to a report she had been assaulted by her boyfriend. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)

The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a Spokane police officer who allegedly sexually assaulted a woman while responding to a report that she had been assaulted by her boyfriend.

Officer Nathan Nash first responded to a report of a domestic dispute and assault on Oct. 15, according to court records.

Nash responded to the woman’s residence after she reported her boyfriend choked her, court documents say. Her father was at the scene during that initial investigation.

The woman then contacted Nash for a follow-up interview on the morning of Oct. 23 to show him photos of bruises that had developed on her body as well as hospital paperwork from the day after she reported being assaulted, according to court records.

Nash arrived at the woman’s apartment in a marked police vehicle just before 11 a.m. Oct. 23 and went to her bedroom with her to examine her bruises in person, according to court records. They were the only people at the home at the time.

The woman told investigators she lowered her pants for Nash to examine a bruise on her hip, according to court records. She said Nash then penetrated her with his fingers and touched her rear.

She told sheriff’s office investigators that she did not immediately ask him to stop but told him to do so after about 30 seconds or a minute, according to court records.

Afterward, Nash and the woman continued speaking and exchanged phone numbers, court records say. She gave Nash her father’s phone number, and Nash showed her his personal phone number.

The woman said Nash left the apartment without looking at any photographs of her bruising or taking his own, according to court records.

The woman’s father reported the incident to Spokane police that day. The next day the police department announced it had placed an unnamed officer on paid administrative leave due to a sexual misconduct allegation.

Spokane police have not named that officer, but Sgt. Terry Preuninger, a police spokesman, said Nash is on paid administrative leave. Police are barred from naming officers implicated in sexual misconduct following a 2011 state Supreme Court ruling.

No charges related to the incident have been filed, according to court records.

Sheriff’s office investigators requested to seize items Nash touched with his hands, as well as other belongings, to test them for DNA evidence, according to court records.

Nash has been employed by the police department since January 2018, according to his LinkedIn profile. His profile said he was employed with the Department of Energy special response team in Richland from 2005 to 2018.