A judge denied a Franklin County prosecutor’s request for $10,000 bail Tuesday for a former Pasco polce officer charged with rape.
Instead, Richard J. Aguirre, 50, was released without bail but with travel restrictions after he pleaded innocent to third-degree rape and fourth-degree assault with a sexual motivation.
The 27-year veteran of the Pasco Police Department is accused of sexually assaulting an adult woman who was sleeping in his bed in November.
Last week, Spokane police also named Aguirre as a suspect in the 1986 murder of Ruby J. Doss, a 27-year-old prostitute found strangled to death.
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He’s not charged in the case but Spokane investigators showed up at Tuesday’s court hearing in Franklin County Superior Court to ask Aguirre for his pass code to a cellphone seized during a search of his Pasco home last month.
Aguirre gave police the code, said his attorney Scott Johnson.
Spokane police say they are investigating whether Aguirre is connected to the slayings of Doss and several other women who were killed in the city in similar fashion in the late ‘80s.
Police say Aguirre was linked to the case after he voluntarily submitted DNA during the rape investigation and it apparently matched DNA evidence collected at the Doss murder scene and entered in a computer database.
Police would not discuss the specifics of what was collected, though they plan to test evidence from other homicide scenes.
Johnson adamantly denies that Aguirre is connected to the Doss killing or any other murder in Spokane. The attorney says Aguirre may have had an encounter with Doss and it’s “no surprise” his DNA was found at the scene.
Aguirre, who has no criminal history, was stationed in Spokane at the Fairchild Air Force Base during the time Doss was killed, Johnson said. He apparently left Spokane sometime in 1987 shortly before he was hired on as a Pasco patrolman in 1988.
Johnson said Aguirre also denies he sexually assaulted the woman in Pasco.
Prosecutors on Monday asked Judge Robert Swisher to set bail in the rape case at $10,000, claiming that Aguirre is a flight risk because of the Spokane investigation.
Johnson told Swisher his client has cooperated with the months-long rape investigation and is not a risk to flee.
“If my client was going to run I can tell the court he would have been long gone by now,” Johnson said.
Swisher agreed to release Aguirre without bail, but ordered him not to leave Benton and Franklin counties. Aguirre also must provide an address where he is staying and must keep in touch with Johnson.
In the rape case, the woman told Franklin County sheriff’s investigators she drank alcohol the night of the incident, went to bed and was woken up by Aguirre kissing and touching her, court documents said. She said Aguirre then sexually assaulted her.
Aguirre was interviewed by police, saying in a voluntary statement the woman slept over but there was no sexual contact, court documents said. Aguirre's DNA from his saliva was found on her underwear, court documents said.
Pasco officials said Aguirre, who was Officer of the Year in 2002, had no complaints filed against him in the last decade and no major issues with his behavior during his tenure with the department.