Rex Newport, a 15-year veteran of the Colville Police Department, accepted a plea deal on Feb. 26 that will prevent his case from going to trial. The officer faced five charges in relation to making sexual advances towards women while in uniform and raping a woman in her apartment in March of 2013.
Newport's case was set to go to trial in April for the charges of Residential Burglary, Unlawful Imprisonment with Sexual Motivation, Custodial Misconduct in the First Degree, Making a False or Misleading Statement to a Public Servant and Official Misconduct.
Newport submitted what is known as an "Alford Plea," meaning he felt there was enough evidence for a jury to convict him, but he maintains his innocence.
As part of the deal with prosecutors, Newport will receive three felony convictions, two convictions for sex offenses, a loss of firearms rights and a loss of his Washington State peace officer certification needed for police employment. In addition, he must register as a sex offender for ten years and receive prison time.
City of Colville Mayor Debra Rarrick announced last week that Newport has been dismissed from the Colville Police Department after being on administrative leave when the charges were pending.
According to court records, two of the victims in the case were "relieved" that they would not have to testify in a trial and were described as "extremely fearful and reluctant to testify."
Court records also said the prosecution is asking that Newport serve his jail time for the five charges concurrently, or for a period of 22 months.
The charges against Newport stem from a March 11, 2013 incident when a Colville woman claimed he came to her apartment late at night after she walked home from Tiny's Bar in Colville. Court records say that Officer Newport unexpectedly showed up at the woman's apartment, drank some of her liquor and then left to respond to a radio call. In his absence, the woman, who is not named in court documents, said she went to a neighbor's apartment until they saw Newport return and then leave again. When the woman did return to her apartment, Newport was waiting inside. A call log from the woman's cell phone showed she then attempted to call her boyfriend and neighbor for help. Newport became angry, took the phone and handcuffed the woman temporarily before removing the restraints and raping her. The woman said in court records she "felt it was fruitless to resist due to Newport's position as a police officer."
According to Stevens County Superior Court documents, the woman went to the hospital afterwards and DNA testing showed sexual contact between the woman and Newport.
When confronted, Newport denied the allegation, calling it "one hundred percent nonsense," according to court records.
Following the report, other women also claimed Newport had made sexual advances towards them while on duty over the last several years and on some occasions prompted sexual contact after traffic stops.
Sentencing in the case is scheduled for April 1.
By Jamie Henneman, The Independent Staff