The Washington County Sheriff’s Office has released a 100-plus page investigation into a former Multnomah County Sheriff's Deputy who previously took a plea deal after being accused of raping a woman.
The investigation into Dwight Richey, 49, details previously unreported allegations of sexual assault, abuse and sexual encounters involving multiple women, including incidents that allegedly happened inside the Multnomah County Courthouse.
Richey pleaded “no contest” to coercion in December 2018 after a woman claimed he raped her at a mutual friend’s home. The victim in that case said she felt manipulated by Richey because he exploited her insecurities.
After that, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office was asked to investigate other allegations involving Richey. Investigators interviewed multiple women who reported stories of unwanted or inappropriate sexual contact with Richey, which were documented in the report released on Tuesday after a public records request by KGW.
Richey’s attorney could not be immediately reached for comment about the new allegations.
Investigation alleges sexual encounters at the Multnomah County Courthouse
A Multnomah County court clerk said she and Richey had sex at the courthouse while he was on duty and in uniform on numerous occasions, according to the investigation. She details that not every time was consensual.
The woman told investigators that Richey would come into her office and would “guilt her into it [oral sex]” even when she said she did not want to. The document reads: “sometimes she was okay with it, but other times she was confused.”
Another Multnomah County employee said she and Richey briefly dated in 2008-2009. She admitted to multiple sexual encounters in the courthouse with Richey while he was on call, wearing his earpiece and in uniform.
Much of her interview is redacted in the public report, but one line at the end reads: “[The detective] asked her to please not talk about the investigation to others. They discussed how her incident with Dwight was likely beyond the statute of limitation.”
It is not immediately clear what the nature of that “incident” is.
In another incident, a coworker of Richey’s recalled a time when Richey touched her inappropriately at work despite her urging him to stop.
She told detectives that Richey made sexual advances at her and tried to kiss her despite her saying stop. She believed he was “trying to make some other moves.”
The woman said other than that incident she found Richey to have been very respectful.
Another woman told detectives she was “stunned” when she read an article about the sexual assault charges because the circumstances were similar to an incident she had with Richey years prior.
According to the documents, she and Richey were at a bar celebrating a mutual friend when Richey came up and “smashed his mouth against hers.” Initially, she considered his advances to from drinking and pushed him off.
At the end of the night she was going to drive Richey to his car when she said Richey grabbed her and started kissing her and put his hand in her pants, according to the investigation.
She told detectives he was “very forceful” and continued despite her vocal objections. She said she tried to fight him off, but he was squeezing and wrenching her arms in a painful way.
She offered him oral sex because she thought if she did not offer something, “Richey was going to hurt her very badly,” the documents state.
The investigation also found Richey had a relationship with a sitting judge at the Multnomah County Courthouse. The judge, who is not named in the report, said the relationship was consensual and denied that anything inappropriate ever happened at the courthouse building. She said her relationship with Richey was kept secret from co-workers, according to the report.
Alleged physical abuse
The report also includes allegations from a woman that Richey physically abused her as a child, dating back to 1996 when Richey was dating the victim’s mother.
During an argument with her sister the woman, whose name has been redacted from the documents, said Richey grabbed her by the arm and forced her outside. The report quotes her as saying Richey would “swing me around like a f****** ragdoll by my hair.”
She said that Richey split her lip in the incident.
She was just a child but said she remembers people standing in the street because of the commotion.
After a friend reported the alleged abuse at their school, the girl was placed into foster care.
Investigators were able to find a child abuse report for an incident reported at the girl’s school around the same date but could not read it because it had been deleted.
The victim said she felt as though Richey had a free pass because nothing ever happened to him.
In another incident, a woman approached detectives after reading about Richey’s sexual assault charges. She claimed that Richey had assaulted her son in 2011.
The woman reported that she did not witness the assault but said she felt she did not give her son much of a voice at the time of the alleged assault.
Richey has not faced any criminal charges beyond the original case in which he took a plea deal. In that case, he was sentenced to three years of probation in exchange for his guilty plea to felony coercion. As part of the deal, he’s also banned from working in law enforcement.
The Washington County investigation was sent to the Oregon Department of Justice. When asked why professional misconduct charges were not pursued regarding the allegations of sex on duty, a DOJ spokesperson said they could not comment on decisions they make about prosecutions.
The Multnomah County Sheriff's Office said in a statement:
Allegations of misconduct are serious matters for public safety agencies. Multnomah County Sheriff Mike Reese and the members of the Sheriff’s Office believe that community trust is the foundation upon which we build our legitimacy as public safety professionals. Our profession’s legitimacy is damaged when any member or former member engages in illegal actions or misconduct.
First and foremost, the Sheriff’s Office appreciates how difficult it was for the victim in this case to come forward. We understand the significant emotional and physical pain that comes with abuse and victimization. We hope this investigation and prosecution helps the victim begin the healing process.
The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office appreciates the work of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) for their thorough investigation into violations of law and policy.
As public safety professionals, we believe in systems of accountability. Our Agency cooperated with authorities throughout the investigation, including the timing of personnel actions so as to protect the integrity of the investigation.
MCSO has a Professional Standards Unit in place to investigate complaints and allegations of misconduct. As we review this investigation or if additional information comes to light, we will immediately take appropriate action.