Jury selection underway in trial of former Pullman Police officer accused of sexual misconduct
PULLMAN, Wash. — Jury selection began Monday in the trial of a former Pullman Police Department sergeant accused of sexual misconduct on the job.
Sergeant Jerry “Dan” Hargraves is accused of demanding and receiving oral sex from a Washington State University freshman in exchange for not arresting her.
The pool of 103 possible jurors will be whittled down to 12 jurors with two alternates this week. Jurors were given a questionnaire Monday which reads, “This case involves an allegation that a law enforcement officer in Pullman engaged in sexual intercourse — or sexual contact with a woman who was being detained, under arrest, or in the custody of a law enforcement officer.”
Court documents showed Hargraves’ semen on the young woman’s sleeve, which led to criminal charges in the case.
The young woman said she had been drinking at several parties on the night of the incident. Court documents showed Hargraves saw her stumbling and obviously intoxicated, then advised her to get in the back seat of his patrol car and took her to her dorm. He gave her a warning for her intoxication.
The young woman was approached again that night by a WSU Police sergeant. According to court documents, Hargraves heard the student’s name on the police radio and told the WSU officer he had contacted her earlier in the night.
Court documents stated Hargraves told the woman, “You disobeyed me. I told you not to leave your dorm before. Now, I have to take you to the station because you didn’t obey my orders.”
The student said he did not place her in handcuffs, but she thought she was under arrest.
While in the back seat of the patrol car, the student was crying and pleading with Hargaves. “I’ll do anything not to get arrested,” she reportedly told him.
Hargraves allegedly said, “What are you willing to do?” The student said she was willing to pay him a good sum of money.
Cell phone data showed the student ended up at the Reaney Park area. She said “he opened her door, instructed her to get out and get down on her knees… [she] remembered hearing him undo his pants. [She] has a vague recollection of performing oral sex on Hargraves.”
The young woman said Hargraves then instructed her to get back in the police vehicle and he dropped her off at Rogers Hall where her friends were expecting her.
Five days later, the student reported the incident to the Office for Equal Opportunities. Hargraves’ patrol vehicle was swabbed for DNA, but nothing was found. DNA found on the student’s sleeve matched Hargraves’ DNA.
Previous accusations of sexual misconduct
In a press conference shortly after Hargraves was charged, PPD Chief Gary Jenkins mentioned Hargraves, who had been with the department for 19 years, had been the subject of a sexual harassment investigation.
4 News Now made a public records request for past complaints and internal investigations. The request resulted in copies of three complaints against Hargraves.
The most detailed was a sexual harassment case from 2016. According to the internal investigation, Hargraves was engaging in a text conversation with another police department employee. The woman in question said it was an innocent conversation and not sexual in nature.
Then, the woman said Hargraves sent a message saying “I have this big secret” and that he propositioned her for sex.
The woman said she was not interested. She said Hargraves told her, “I’m just asking for sex.”
The woman said Hargraves asked her not to tell a fellow employee, who Hargraves said was a woman he had a previous relationship with.
The woman receiving the texts did tell the other woman. She said it bothered her so much, she was having problems sleeping and eating. She eventually left the police department.
When questioned by his commander, Hargraves said he thought the conversation was flirty. He reportedly told the woman “that relationships didn’t really work out for him and he was only interested in a physical encounter.”
After completing the investigation, Pullman Police Commander Chris Tennant concluded that Hargraves committed sexual harassment and violated department and city policy. He concluded that since it was an isolated incident and there were no other complaints or issues, supervisory counseling would be the proper punishment.
Hargraves was required to re-read the Pullman Police and city policy on sexual harassment and torefrain from such conduct in the future. The public records request also included two other complaints.
One was that he failed to show up for a deposition in a civil case; he was neither a defendant nor plaintiff in that case and said he misread the subpoena.
He was also the subject of a complaint from Commander Tennant in 2016. Tennant told him to revise a Halloween safety article and he did not do so.
In both of those cases, he received “supervisory counseling” and no other punishment.
Hargraves resigned from the PPD following the accusations of sexual misconduct with the college student. He is charged with first-degree custodial sexual misconduct and pleaded not guilty last November.
Possible jurors in this trial were given questionnaires Monday, where they were asked to answer several questions including “Have you ever been the recipient of an unwanted sexual contact?” and “To your knowledge, has any member of your family or a close friend ever been accused of or charged with an offence involving sexual contact?”
Jurors were also asked if they had seen or read any media coverage on Hargraves’ case and if that would sway them during the trial.
Once the jury is selected, the prosecution and defense will give their opening statements and Hargraves’ trial will begin. A court administrator said the jury will likely be selected by Tuesday, with opening arguments following shortly thereafter.
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