Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Former Officer Rex Newport Pleads Guilty to Multiple Felonies

Former Colville Police Officer Rex Newport spent 15 years putting countless criminals in prison. On Tuesday, Newport found out he would be heading off to prison for 29 months himself.

Newport pleaded guilty in February to multiple felony and misdemeanor charges, including unlawful imprisonment with sexual motivation. The court identified Newport's behavior as reckless and the arrogance he displayed was truly disturbing.

"Your honor, I messed up," Newport said, addressing a packed Stevens County courtroom Tuesday morning. "I'm absolutely ashamed of myself."

Last year a woman came forward saying she was drunk when Newport came into her home, handcuffed and sexually assaulted her while he was on duty. Four other women later said Newport made sexual advances towards them as well. In February Newport accepted a plea deal.

Newport's lawyer argued he's a good man, who made terrible mistakes, but the court argued that Newport, "identified and isolated not just these women and others and used the authority of your office to coerce them into sexual activity for no reason but to satisfy your desires," adding that his actions brought shame to himself and black eyes to other Colville police officers. "With the multiple victims, multiple incidents, I would say the only appropriate decision would be the maximum sentence."

Washington Assistant Attorney General John Hillman said he was pleased with Newport's sentence.

"He's also now a convicted felon, a sex offender who will have to register when he is released from prison, he will no longer be able to carry a firearm or work as a police officer in his state," Hillman said.

After years of putting people in handcuffs, Newport was the one to be handcuffed and taken away to prison. Like all Department of Corrections inmates, Newport will be transported to the prison in Shelton, where he'll be assessed and DOC will determine which prison to send him to. They'll take several things into consideration including the length of sentence, nature of crime and his background.

After Newport gets out of prison, he will have to register as a sex offender for 10 years.

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.