Forks officer accused of rape resigns for medical reasons

The officer claims the FBI probe and his departure are unrelated.

Mike Gentry

Mike Gentry

FORKS — Former Forks Police Officer Mike Gentry resigned for medical reasons May 18 while an FBI investigation continues into a woman’s allegation that he raped her twice, Chief Mike Rowley said last week.

Gentry, who last week denied the allegation contained in a temporary protection order, was on 15 months of paid administrative leave between Feb. 11, 2017, and May 18 because of the allegation.

The resignation stemmed from physical injuries Gentry, 33, sustained while making an arrest Jan. 18, 2014, Gentry and Rowley said.

Gentry said he initially broke his wrist and sustained a tibial plateau fracture below his knee, dislocating the knee in a Forks parking lot when he tackled a 24-year-old man who had run into Gentry’s police vehicle.

Walter B. Martin-Perez served 66 days in jail for hit-and-run and resisting arrest.

The injuries had worsened according to a recent medical report, forcing him to resign, Gentry and Rowley said.

The state Department of Labor and Industries said Gentry was “not capable” of physically performing his duties as a police officer, Rowley said.

Gentry said he cannot sit, stand and walk for more than 10 or 15 minutes at a time in a one-hour period.

Since the incident, he has developed blood clots, traumatic degenerative osteoarthritis and a bone deformation that “causes me to fall, occasionally,” he said.

Resigning “wasn’t a choice I made.”

Gentry received $88,000 in full-time salary and health, dental, vision and life insurance benefits while on leave, according to city records.

The alleged rape victim’s petition for a protection order was filed in Superior Court on Feb. 9, 2017.

Clallam County Superior Court Commissioner Brent Basden issued a temporary sexual assault protection order that same day that required Gentry to surrender any weapons in his possession.

Two days later, then-Police Department Administrator Rick Bart told Gentry he was being placed on administrative leave “due to a complaint stemming from a sexual assault protection order,” according to Bart’s written notice to Gentry.

The woman said Gentry raped her in late December 2013 or early January 2014 on a logging road while taking her to her home in his patrol car after she had wrecked her vehicle.

She said he raped her a second time about a year later at her friend’s house after she had been drinking and while she was lying on a couch.

“I had been drinking and was numb,” she said in the petition.

“Mike Gentry works in the public as a figure of authority and I fear other women are at risk,” she said.

“He is intimidating and I fear [for] my safety and others’ safety,” she said. “I’ve kept this all inside, but am seeking help now.

“This rape has caused me to have suicidal ideations at times.”

Gentry said he did not have a sexual relationship with the woman.

He said he worked with her.

“I did not rape this woman,” Gentry said.

“I deny there was any sort of unprofessional relationship.”

Port Townsend Attorney Alexandrea Schodowski represented Gentry.

She said in her written response to the woman’s claims that Gentry’s job required him to use a firearm.

“The petitioner offers little proof and no evidence to support the alleged non-consensual sexual conduct or acts allegedly perpetrated on her by [Gentry],” Schodowski said, calling the woman’s assertions “flimsy allegations.”

“More specifically, the petitioner cannot even list a specific date in which this alleged conduct occurred.

“In addition, the petitioner fails to include why she waited until February 2017 to make these allegations and request protection,” Schodowski said.

“The only contact Mr. Gentry has had with the petitioner was work-related and not personal.”

Basden said there was “no basis” for issuing the more permanent order, questioning the credibility of the same allegations that had led to Gentry being put on administrative leave.

“Court makes finding sexual assault wasn’t established,” according to the hearing minutes that are part of the court record.

“Court rules there’s no basis, court signs order of denial, in re: firearms, no order prohibiting use.”

The investigation continued, anyway.

The FBI took it over from the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office around March 2017, Bart said in a June 2, 2017, interview with Peninsula Daily News.

That investigation is continuing, Rowley and City Attorney Rod Fleck said last week.

Fleck said a meeting with the FBI about the investigation that was scheduled for May 18 — the same day that Gentry resigned — was postponed.

“They said we would be meeting with them in the near future,” Fleck said Thursday.

An FBI spokeswoman would not confirm or deny the existence of the investigation.

“Generally speaking, an individual’s employment status would be irrelevant to any investigation,” she said Monday in an email.

Last week, more than a year after the woman made the allegations, Rowley and Gentry said they have not been interviewed by the FBI.

Gentry has not been interviewed by North Olympic Peninsula law enforcement authorities, either.

“Nobody has spoken to me,” he said.

A Navy veteran, Gentry said he has been denied employment at five other jobs, including customer service representative and food handler-operator, because of his physical limitations.

He had been in law enforcement since 2006.

“It seems all I ever wanted to do was be a police officer,” Gentry said.

________

This story was first published in the Peninsula Daily News. Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at pgottlieb@peninsuladailynews.com.

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