Prosecutor chooses not to retry Hargraves

Hargraves

Citing the alleged victim’s unwillingness to endure a second trial, Whitman County Prosecutor Denis Tracy announced Thursday he will not retry a former Pullman police officer on charges of custodial sexual misconduct.

Dan Hargraves was charged after a former WSU student alleged he made her perform oral sex on him while she was in his custody in March 2018. The trial lasted almost two weeks, ending Sept. 19 when Whitman County Superior Court Judge Gary Libey declared a mistrial as the jury could not reach a verdict.

Tracy, in a emailed release Thursday, wrote he believed the facts supported a conviction in a second trial, but the alleged victim in the case “is not willing to go through the additional trauma and indignity of another trial.”

Tracy wrote he would not have hesitated to compel other witnesses to appear and testify at a retrial.

“But for me to do that to the victim here, would truly be to re-victimize her,” Tracy wrote. “The victim in this case has gone through a lot, and I admire the courage that she showed to come forward in the first place. Now I have to respect her decision.

The case and subsequent mistrial served as a lightning rod of sorts on the WSU campus. Last week, student leaders at Washington State University released a letter urging Tracy to put a former Pullman police officer back on trial.

The letter, directed to the “Cougar Community,” was on Associated Students of Washington State University letterhead and signed by ASWSU President Quinton Berkompas and ASWSU Vice President Jhordin Prescott. ASWSU is the university’s student government.

“We want to make it clear that there’s a lot of pressure here from the student body that this case needs to be retried,” Berkompas said.

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