Local News

Jury finds former police sergeant guilty of rape

SPOKANE, Wash. - A jury handed down a guilty verdict for the former police sergeant accused of rape by one of his fellow coworkers. 

Gordon Ennis was found guilty of second degree rape Wednesday afternoon. It took just two hours for the jury to come to their decision. 

Ennis was escorted to the jail in handcuffs immediately following the verdict. A call to Ennis' defense attorney to see if they plant to appeal the decision has not been returned. 

As jurors announced their decision, Ennis' family broke down in tears. 

The jury's decision came shortly after a morning of passionate closing arguments. 

Prosecutor Kelly Fitzgerald attacked Ennis for using the party as an opportunity to have sexual encounters with intoxicated women, and abusing the trust of a subordinate in his department. 

"A man that she knew at that point as a firearms instructor and a sergeant. A man who was a supervisor and a superior to her. A man whose work she respected. A man that she saw only as a superior officer that she trusted her life with," Fitzgerald said. 

Defense attorney Bob Cossey attempted to attack the victim's credibility. He asked jurors to leave emotion out of their decision and stick to the facts of the case. 

"He is not on trial because he's a cheating husband and he violated his vows of marriage," Cosse said. 

But, prosecutors said there was no doubt that the woman had attended the party at Officer Doug Strosahl's home and was too intoxicated to consent to sexual activity. 

"There is ample testimony before you that this was a young woman who consumed alcohol at this party and suffered some significant effects," Fitzgerald said. 

Fitzgerald also attacked Ennis' credibility, saying the victim's story never wavered, while Ennis had two years to paint a picture that the victim was the sexual aggressor. 

"The defendant is presumed innocent, ladies and gentlemen, he is not presumed credible," she said. 

The woman said the assault happened in the middle of the night. She said she passed out from being drunk, then woke up to Ennis assaulting her. Ennis said that the victim came on to him, and she was not very drunk when their encounter happened. 

But, in the end the jury sided with prosecutors, and felt they proved without a doubt that the rape had occurred. Thus, the man who once put criminals in handcuffs for a living was given a pair of his own. 

Ennis will now face a sentencing hearing. A date for his sentencing has not yet been determined.