More than two years after a former Pullman police officer was accused of coercing a WSU freshman to perform a sex act to get out of an underage drinking arrest, the state has revoked his peace officer certification.
Whitman County Superior Court Judge Gary Libey declared a mistrial in the case after the jury deadlocked in September 2019.
Prosecutor Denis Tracy said in a statement at the time he “very much” wanted to go forward with the case again. He said he believed the facts, which included a semen sample matching the former sergeant, supported a conviction.
“Realistically, I cannot and will not force her to go through this again,” Tracy said in his statement, referring to the victim. “And our system does not allow a criminal trial without her testimony. Therefore, the case is at an end.”
In 2018, an 18-year-old WSU student claimed then-Sgt. Jerry “Dan” Hargraves sexually assaulted her. In the trial she said she’d left a fraternity when Hargraves stopped her. He’d told her she was too drunk to be walking alone and gave her a ride back to her dormitory, she said.
After another Pullman police officer stopped her later in the night, Hargraves showed up again, this time outside her dorm, she testified.
He put her in his patrol car. He told her she’d “disobeyed” him and he was taking her to the station, according to her testimony. The woman said she remembered being in his vehicle and pleading with Hargraves and him asking her, “What are you willing to do?” She responded, “Like, anything.”
She said she was very drunk and couldn’t remember everything well, except that the car stopped in a dark area.
Washington State Patrol allegedly found sperm matching Hargraves’ DNA on the clothes she was wearing that night.
After the September declaration of a mistrial, Pullman police Chief Gary Jenkins said he notified the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission that Hargraves resigned “in lieu of termination.”
In the revocation of his certification, signed Aug. 31, the commission found Hargraves had failed to respond or defend against the Statement of Charges, including custodial sexual misconduct.
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.