UPDATE: We spoke with Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich about Spokane Police Sergeant Gordon Ennis, who's now facing charges of second degree rape. He turned himself in at the Spokane County Jail Wednesday afternoon, and was released minutes later.
The sheriff says deputies have requested charges for two officers, but he says their futures with the police department are unclear, because that depends on what happens in court.
"The investigators that looked into these matters did an outstanding job," Knezovich said. "They were very thorough, they were methodical. And these are two very strong cases."
When it comes to Sgt. Gordon Ennis, the sheriff says investigators found DNA in an area that only Ennis could have gotten to. As far as the second case involving Sgt. John Gately, investigators have asked prosecutors to charge him with first degree rendering criminal assistance and obstruction of a law enforcement officer.
"I can tell you that there is phone documentation that linked those conversations plus an eyewitness statement," Knezovich said.
There was a third officer involved, who's still on paid leave, but the sheriff says deputies couldn't make the charges stick. That officer's attorney also says his client has been cleared.
"Now in reference to him," Knezovich said, "I think he still has some issues he'll face on the internal side with SPD because he did have a rape victim come to him, tell him she was raped, and he did nothing. So that would be up to SPD to resolve those issues."
As for the victim, the sheriff says she's strong and has a great resolve to see this through to the end.
UPDATE: Mayor Condon has released a statement on the Spokane Police Officer charged with 2nd Degree Rape:
“This is a disappointing day for Spokane. We hold our police officers to the highest standards of conduct, and the allegations contained in these charges fall far short of those expectations. The community expects and deserves better, and most of our officers carry out their duties with the utmost professionalism. Unfortunately, these officers have not lived up to that commitment. As required by the Civil Service discipline process, an internal review panel will be activated to review the felony charge. We have zero tolerance for this kind of behavior and will take immediate action once the panel has made its recommendation.”
UPDATE: On Thursday Interim Spokane Police Chief Rick Dobrow will review the status of a third Spokane Police Officer who had been put on leave as part of the rape investigation. That officer has been cleared of all charges, but remains on leave. Chief Dobrow is expected to decide whether or not to bring him back.
The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office Sexual Assault Unit (SAU) has concluded the investigation into the reported sexual assault involving Spokane Police Sergeant Gordon Ennis as well as the additional investigation into the release of information which hindered/obstructed the sexual assault investigation.
With the conclusion of the sexual assault investigation, investigators believe probable cause exists to charge Gordon Ennis with Rape 2nd Degree.
With the conclusion of the investigation pertaining to the release of information which hindering/obstructed the sexual assault investigation, investigators believe probable cause exists to charge Spokane Police Sergeant John Gately with Rendering Criminal Assistance 1st Degree and Obstructing a Law Enforcement Officer. Detectives say they believe Gately contacted Ennis and tipped him off to a coming search warrant.
No criminal charges were filed pertaining to a third Spokane Police Officer. We talked to his attorney who says he got word from investigators that his client has been cleared of all charges. That officer had been accused of tampering with evidence. He hosted the party where the alleged rape happened and detectives were looking into whether he washed clothes and bedsheets to protect Ennis.
Charging documents requesting the noted charges be filed for Ennis and Gately were forward to the Spokane County Prosecutors Office yesterday afternoon.
On Wednesday at approximately 4:23 p.m., after turning himself in to the Spokane County Jail, Ennis was booked for Rape 2nd Degree.
The charges involving Gately are still being reviewed by the Prosecutor’s Office.