Newport case forwarded to Attorney General
The Stevens County Sheriff’s Office has completed its sexual misconduct investigation of Colville police Officer Rex Newport and has turned the case over to prosecutors. Wednesday morning, Stevens County Prosecutor Tim Rasmussen said he has formally requested that the state Office of Attorney General handle charging decisions and any potential prosecution of the Colville officer. Newport, who has worked for Colville police for about 15 years, was placed on administrative leave in March. Rasmussen explained that because his office has worked with Newport on criminal cases, he believes it would be a conflict to personally handle any charging decisions or following prosecution. “I have been informed that a special assistant attorney general with experience in sexual assault cases will be assigned to review the investigative file and make a charging decision if warranted,” Rasmussen said. Spokane attorney Jeffry Finer previously said he was retained by a woman who made allegations against Newport. Finer said he’s been told that the case involves up to four victims, and he personally requested the FBI to investigate allegations of “sexual assault by someone in uniform while on duty.”“The case involves official authority and sex and, in some instances, nonconsensual sex,” Finer said in April. “That’s as broadly as I can describe the allegations.” According to FBI spokesper¬son Ayn Sandalo Dietrich, the bureau is conducting a “Color of Law” investigation, which include acts carried out by government officials operating both within and beyond the limits of their lawful authority. Off-duty conduct may be cov¬ered if the perpetrator as¬serted his or her official status in some way.