Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Former Officer Walter Knox Charged with Sexual Assault

A former Mesa police officer was arrested and accused of sexually assaulting two women inside an art gallery he owns in Old Town Scottsdale.

42-year-old Walter Knox says he was floored when police arrested him for sexual assault and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Knox has not been charged and he says the alleged victims' claims are bogus and it's all a scam.

The owner of Knox Artifacts near Goldwater and Main Street in Scottsdale was arrested at his high end gallery Thursday.

The alleged victims say a handgun was involved.

"Any incident like that is totally out of whack," said Antonio Mona of Casa de Artistas of Scottsdale.

Fellow gallery owners were taken aback by the allegations.

Knox, who wouldn't talk with us on camera, told us off-camera that he was assaulted in a strip club earlier that night, where he says police identification and prior duty weapon were stolen.

He says a man and the two alleged victims, who claimed to have witnessed that attack, came back to his gallery where he says they tried to get him to invest in a project.

In a police report, Knox admitted to having consensual contact with the women.  He showed us photos of the two alleged victims.  Topless, in the gallery and smiling as they showed off ancient artifacts.

Police say they found meth and suspected cocaine in the back of the gallery, something Knox says the alleged victims left there.  He also claims they stole thousands of dollars from him.

According to the police report, investigators staked out the business for about six hours before arresting Knox as the store closed following an art walk Thursday.

The arrest comes as a shock to others in the high-end art community.

"It's a close knit community of very wonderful people who not only promote the arts, but promote the downtown area of Scottsdale," said Mona.

The alleged victims are 28 and 29-years-old.

Mesa police say Knox took medical retirement in 2005 after serving about 10 years with the department.  They add that retired officers get a police ID saying they're retired officers.  They're also allowed to buy their duty weapon.

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