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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Former Spokane police officer awaiting trial for rape charges arrested again for allegedly raping another woman

By Emma Epperly and Sydney Brown The Spokesman-Review

A fired Spokane Police officer awaiting trial for allegedly sexually assaulting a victim of domestic violence was arrested Wednesday on new charges after another woman reported he raped her while on duty.

Nathan Nash, 38, faces charges of second-degree rape and unlawful imprisonment in the new case, the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office reported in a news release.

He was first arrested in 2019 and was soon fired by the Spokane Police Department.

Both sexual assault victims told investigators that Nash responded to their calls for police assistance, then later followed up with them alone. It was during these “follow-ups” that Nash sexually assaulted them, the victims told detectives. Julie Humphreys, a spokesperson for the Spokane Police Department, said it’s not uncommon for officers to follow up on an investigation alone, but corporals would typically be the ones to take pictures for evidence.

The Spokane Police Department made a brief statement Wednesday reiterating the statement Chief Craig Meidl made in 2019 when Nash was first charged.

“I (we) would like to thank those who showed great courage by coming forward and bringing these allegations to light,” Meidl wrote.

In the first case, Nash responded to a 911 call in October 2019 from a woman reporting her boyfriend choked her during an argument and stole her car, according to investigative documents. Eight days later, the domestic violence victim reported Nash returned to her home, and put his fingers inside her vagina while supposedly examining darkened bruising on her arms, hips and rear. He is pending trial on charges of second-degree rape and two counts of official misconduct related to that case. He has pleaded not guilty.

Months before, Nash responded to an apartment near Rogers High School on July 5, 2019, after a woman reported she had been assaulted. The victim, a 40-year-old woman, said two officers, one of them Nash, responded after her neighbor assaulted her, according to a search warrant filed Wednesday.

The victim said Nash took her statement and looked at her injuries before giving her a crime victim’s card with his phone number on the back. Nash returned to the woman’s apartment alone the next day to take pictures, according to court documents.

Nash told the victim to wear a dress so he could photograph her injuries, the woman told investigators. Nash arrived alone wearing his black Spokane Police Department uniform jumpsuit along with his duty belt that held his gun, the victim told investigators.

Nash mentioned that there had been an office-involved shooting that day and told her that other officers had to “stay in one place,” the victim told investigators.

On July 6, 2019, Spokane police Officer Daniel Lesser shot at Charles Jackson Jr., a fugitive wanted by the U.S. Marshals Service. Jackson was not injured and was taken into custody.

Nash then asked the victim if he could take off his radio. Nash bent and looked at the victim’s leg, which she told police she thought was to look for injuries.

Then Nash pulled the victim’s dress up and reached into her underwear, the victim said. Nash asked the victim if that hurt and she said no, according to the victim.

The victim told investigators she was shocked and didn’t know what to do, saying, “He had a gun and everything … he had his uniform on,” according to court documents.

The victim told investigators she thought Nash might shoot her if she resisted. Nash pushed the victim onto the couch, took her clothes off, and raped her, the victim told police.

“I was afraid to fight … he had his uniform and gun on and everything,” the victim told investigators. “I got in a paralyzed state and didn’t want to fight him.”

After the rape, Nash took the victim into the bathroom and turned the shower on, documents say. The victim said she tried to leave, scared Nash was “going to drown me,” according to court documents. Nash grabbed her and pushed her in the shower, according to court documents.

Nash cleaned himself up with a tissue that the victim said she believed he took with him. Not long after, Nash left the apartment.

The victim told investigators she was too embarrassed to tell anyone about the rape and was traumatized both by the rape and being assaulted by her neighbor.

A few days later, Nash called the victim. He continued to do so for about a month. The victim continued to ask if Nash would help her with her neighbor and asked him to “protect” her from the neighbor, according to court documents.

Nash said he would do something about it, the victim told police. In August, Nash came to the victim’s apartment and they had consensual sex, she said. After that contact, the two quickly stopped talking.

Last month, the victim called the Spokane Police Department to ask if charges were filed against her neighbor. During the call, she mentioned that Nash had “violated” her, according to court documents. That’s when supervisors called the victim and asked a few questions before turning the investigation over to the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.

The sheriff’s office investigator noted that the victim is disabled and has an apparent minor cognitive disability, according to court documents.

After an investigation into the allegations, deputies arrested Nash on Wednesday.

While Nash was fired in 2019 after the first rape charges were filed against him, that incident was not the first red flag. In 2018, Nash’s handling on a domestic violence incident was called into question when he and two other officers failed to interview a victim after a fight outside of a bar.

Then in June 2019, Nash reportedly didn’t arrest a domestic violence suspect who was in possession of a significant amount of cocaine and gave the female victim his personal cellphone number.

After the initial sexual assault allegations were reported publicly, two more women came forward to report inappropriate interactions with Nash.

Nash previously served for 13 years as a federal law enforcement officer, working at Hanford, Washington. During his time there, Becky Bond, a family friend, noticed signs Nash was abusing his wife, she told The Spokesman-Review earlier this year.

An internal affairs investigation, which included an interview with Nash’s wife, found the accusation to be baseless.

Nash’s trial for the initial counts of rape and official misconduct was set to begin on Aug. 30, but according to court documents filed last month, the prosecution may ask to postpone the trial to include information about these new allegations.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct Nash’s title. He was an officer with the Spokane Police Department.