Criminal Investigation results in Pullman Officer’s Arrest; Department’s Internal Investigation begins
Troopers with the Washington State Patrol have arrested a local police sergeant on a felony charge of sexual misconduct against an 18-year-old Washington State University Student. Pullman Police Sergeant Dan Hargraves was arrested this morning and charged with custodial sexual misconduct in the first degree. His arrest follows a lengthy investigation that began in April after a WSU student reported she was sexually assaulted in the back seat of a patrol car.
Sergeant Hargraves was initially placed on desk duty, then paid administrative leave. He has now been booked into the Whitman County Jail and is expected to appear at a bail hearing later today.
After learning of the student’s allegation, the Pullman and WSU Police Departments immediately requested WSP to initiate a criminal investigation. That investigation concluded in late September and the results were sent to Whitman County Prosecutor Denis Tracy to file charges.
In a release this morning, Tracy stated that the charge against Hargraves alleges he “abused his power as a police officer” with the student detained under his custody and that he “engaged in sexual intercourse with her.”
According to court documents filed in Spokane County Superior Court, the 18-year-old student was intoxicated when she was contacted by a Pullman Police Sergeant. The Sergeant warned the student against underage drinking, then gave her a courtesy ride to her dorm.
Following the incident, the student filed a formal complaint against a “law enforcement officer,” to the university’s Office of Equal Opportunity in early April. The report determined that the student was contacted by two police sergeants on March 31st when the alleged misconduct took place. The report also concludes that the alleged incident may have taken place in the back seat of a patrol car.
Hargraves has been a sergeant for 14 years and has worked in the Pullman Police Department for 19 years.
Pullman Police Chief Gary Jenkins responded to the arrest in a press release this morning.
“The alleged criminal misconduct is completely unacceptable behavior for a Pullman Police Officer.”
Chief Jenkins continued.
“We place a high value on the community’s trust, and we will continue to work every day to earn and maintain that trust.”
It is standard practice for law enforcement agencies to request an outside, independent agency to conduct a criminal investigation of an agency employee.
The Pullman Police Department is now conducting an internal investigation of the allegations to determine if Sergeant Hargraves violated the department’s policies or procedures. It is standard practice for an internal investigation to be conducted after the results of a criminal investigation have been made, so the two do not interfere. Pullman police clarified in a release this morning that the internal investigation is not dependent on the outcome of criminal charges, rather it is used to examine whether the officer complied with the rules of conduct established by the department.
This is a developing story and will be updated throughout the day.