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Police Chief, Candidate For WA Governor Responds To Suit Over Handling Of Sex Abuse Investigation

Republic Police Chief and GOP gubernatorial candidate Loren Culp is part of a lawsuit involving how he and others handled an investigation into a claim of sexual abuse.
Fox News/YouTube
Republic Police Chief and GOP gubernatorial candidate Loren Culp is part of a lawsuit involving how he and others handled an investigation into a claim of sexual abuse.

A leading Republican candidate for Washington governor is being accused of mishandling a child sexual abuse investigation in Ferry County.

A lawsuit filed in 2017 claims that Loren Culp and two other law enforcement officers didn’t properly investigate the claims of a 17-year-old girl, who said she’d been molested by a relative since she was five.

Culp, who’s police chief of Republic in Ferry County, interviewed the girl, but said in his report that he didn’t think she was being truthful.

After her grandparents got involved, the girl’s charges were then picked up by the Benton County Sheriff’s Office, which led to the arrest of Roy Moore Jr. on child rape, child molestation and incest charges in 2014. He was sentenced to 67 months in jail, and was released last December.

The victim, who is now 23, filed the lawsuit three years ago to make sure what happened to her doesn’t happen to anyone else, according to the Seattle Times, which first reported on the suit last week.

Culp denies the allegations, and says it’s an attempt by his political opponents and left wing media to hurt his campaign.

“It should be obvious to everybody that it’s politically motivated. It's been sitting dormant for three years,” Culp said Tuesday in an interview. “They haven’t done anything on it because there’s no evidence against me on any of it.”

Culp says he did one half-hour interview and left it in the hands of the Ferry County Sheriff’s Office.

“It was a Ferry County case. Not a city of Republic case. I was not in charge of the city of Republic Police Department. I was a narcotics detective,” Culp said. “A deputy sheriff asked if I would come as backup because he was by himself. I showed up for one of the many interviews in that case. That’s the only one I was in on. It wasn’t my decision. It wasn’t my case. It wasn’t anything to do with me other than I was backing up a deputy.”

Culp is a leading Republican candidate for governor, who has out-raised all but one of his GOP opponents with $780,000.

He made news in 2018 by refusing to enforce a statewide gun control initiative passed by nearly 60% of voters, leading to appearances on Fox News.

Copyright 2020 Northwest News Network

Nick Deshais roams eastern Washington, North Idaho and northeastern Oregon as the Inland Northwest correspondent for the Northwest News Network. Nick has called the region home since 2008. As a journalist, he has always sought to tell the stories of the area’s many different people, from the dryland farmers above the Odessa aquifer to the roadbuilders of Spokane. Prior to joining the Northwest News Network, Nick worked as a print reporter in Washington, Oregon and Michigan. Most recently, he covered city hall and urban affairs at The Spokesman-Review in Spokane. Nick was raised in rural Northern California, and is a graduate of Portland State University, where he earned degrees in history and math. When off the clock, Nick enjoys state-spanning bike tours, riding subways in foreign cities and walking slowly through museums. Nick’s reporting and writing has been recognized by the Society of Professional Journalists, the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies and the Best of the West. He was a Knight-Wallace fellow at the University of Michigan in 2017, and a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists in 2011.