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Friday, October 30, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Alleged victim testifies in trial of Pullman police officer

By Anthony Kuipers Moscow-Pullman Daily News

COLFAX – The alleged victim in a sexual misconduct case involving a former Pullman Police Department officer testified Wednesday and occasionally fought back tears as she recounted what she could remember from the night the alleged crime occurred.

The 20-year-old woman, who was an 18-year-old Washington State University student the night of the alleged incident, spoke in front of the jury at the trial of Dan Hargraves in Whitman County Superior Court.

Hargraves is accused of custodial sexual misconduct while with the freshman student, who was allegedly coerced into performing oral sex on Hargraves while she was in his custody in the early hours of March 31, 2018.

As she was questioned by Whitman County Prosecutor Denis Tracy and defense attorney Roger Sandberg, she explained there were parts of that night she could not remember and others that she could remember vividly.

She recounted a night of attending parties, drinking and trying to meet up with friends starting in the evening hours of March 30, 2018.

She also recounted what she could remember from being allegedly contacted by Hargraves while he was on patrol that night.

At some point after leaving a fraternity, the woman said she was stopped by Hargraves, who allegedly told the underage woman she was too drunk to be walking alone. She said he gave her a courtesy ride back to her dormitory at Duncan Dunn Hall.

She admitted to being intoxicated and said she could not remember all of the details of that first contact, including the conversation she had with Hargraves.

The woman said she was so upset by the experience of being in the back of the police car, she did not stay in her dormitory because she did not want to be alone. She left to go meet with friends.

According to the Washington State Patrol’s investigation of that night, the woman was stopped by Washington State University Police Department officer Sgt. Matt Kuhrt after leaving her dormitory. She said she remembered very little from that interaction because of her intoxication.

According to the investigation, it was after this interaction that she was again allegedly contacted by Hargraves. After spotting the woman outside her dormitory again, Hargraves allegedly put her in his patrol vehicle.

“You disobeyed me, so I’m taking you to the station,” she recalled him saying.

The woman said she was scared of getting in trouble because her parents are strict and they may not let her attend her dream school, Tulane University, if they had to bail her out of jail.

The woman said she remembered being in his vehicle and pleading with Hargraves and him asking her, “What are you willing to do?”

“I said, ‘Like, anything,’ ” the woman said.

The woman said he drove her in his vehicle for a long time and stopped somewhere that was dark where she could not see buidings. The WSP investigation alleged the incident took place at Reaney Park.

The woman said she was instructed to get on her knees, and she remembered feeling dry grass on her knees and hearing the sound of pants unbuckling.

Tracy asked her if she remembered performing oral sex.

“I don’t remember the act of it,” she said.

The woman said Hargraves drove her back to her friends’ dormitory, Rogers Hall. She wanted to text her friends but Hargraves kept her phone while they were in the car.

Tracy presented evidence gathered by WSP Detective Larry McGill that showed a list of her phone calls and text messages that night, including a period where she did not answer her calls or messages around the time when the incident allegedly took place.

She went inside Rogers Hall because she was afraid to be outside, she said.

“I felt like I wasn’t safe,” she said.

The woman said she would later identify Hargraves from the staff directory on the Pullman PD website. She identified him in court Wednesday.

The woman said she chose not to get a rape test because it seemed too invasive and she was afraid her parents would find out.

One of her friends bagged up the clothes she was wearing that night, and the woman later presented the bag to Washington State Patrol as evidence. The investigation allegedly found sperm matching Hargraves’ DNA.

The trial continued Thursday.

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