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

Woman raped by on-duty police officer says Spokane Police Department ignored ‘red flags’ in claim against city

Former Spokane police Officer Nathan Nash is led out of Spokane County Superior Court on Tuesday after a jury found him guilty of two counts of rape.  (Jesse Tinsley/The Spokesman-Revi)

One of the women raped by a former Spokane police officer has filed a $1 million claim against the city alleging the police department ignored “red flags” in the officer’s behavior.

The city allowed Nathan Nash “to use his uniform and authority to prey on women,” the 25-year-old victim wrote in her claim for damages, an administrative precursor to a lawsuit.

A Spokane jury convicted Nash, 39, of raping two women in 2019 during follow-up visits to physical assault investigations he responded to in his role as a Spokane Police officer.

The woman filing the claim was 22 at the time. She testified that Nash pulled down her pants while looking at her bruises from being beaten by her boyfriend. Nash then inserted his fingers inside her. He was convicted of third-degree rape and acquitted of a second-degree rape charge.

A second woman, now 41, told the jury Nash was looking at a bruise on her leg when he began touching her inappropriately. He then pushed her onto the couch and raped her. He was convicted of second-degree rape with aggravating circumstances for violating the trust she had in him as a law enforcement officer. The jury acquitted him of unlawful imprisonment.

In the claim filed Thursday, the now-25-year-old victim said the assault affected her ability to work, spend time with loved ones and left her fearful of law enforcement officers.

The claim alleges the city’s hiring, training and supervision of Nash was inadequate and contributed to her injuries. There were “substantial ‘red flags’ ” the city ignored or failed to investigate, according to the claim.

There were numerous concerns about Nash’s response to domestic violence situations documented by the police department, according to documents obtained by The Spokesman-Review. Nash also developed a “common practice” of giving out his personal phone number to crime victims, investigators said.

The 25-year-old woman indicated she would be willing to settle the claim for $750,000. The city has 60 days to respond before the woman files a lawsuit, said her attorney, Jeffry Finer.

Nash remains charged with official misconduct related to a third victim and is scheduled to be tried on that charge next month.

He’s set to be sentenced for the rapes in October.