Frank Cikutovich Article:
Deputy Accused Of Rape Won't Face Charges
Spokesman Review May 16, 2000
by John Craig Staff writer
A former Pend Oreille County sheriff's deputy who was accused of raping a
drunken woman in his patrol car while on duty will not be prosecuted.
Assistant Attorney General Lana Martuscelli said there is insufficient
evidence to charge former Deputy John Fritzinger with any crime in an August
1999 incident that led to his dismissal.
"The victim was cooperative, but we lacked sufficient corroborating
evidence," Martuscelli said Monday. "There were lab tests done that did not
provide any evidence."
She declined to elaborate, and Fritzinger could not be reached for
Fritzinger, 57, was fired for insubordination last September when he refused
to answer questions in an internal affairs investigation. Sheriff Jerry Weeks
turned the criminal investigation over to the State Patrol, and county
Prosecutor Tom Metzger deferred to the Attorney General's Office.
At the time, Fritzinger's attorney, Frank Cikutovich, said Fritzinger denied
any sexual contact with the 42-year-old woman who accused him.
The woman told investigators that Fritzinger was parked in his patrol car
outside her home in Metaline Falls about 11 p.m. when she returned from a night
She said Fritzinger asked her to get in the car, and she didn't resist when
he began having sex with her.
The woman said Fritzinger questioned her two hours earlier outside an Ione
bar. She said she was "very drunk," but Fritzinger didn't stop her when she got
behind the wheel of her car.
Weeks said Fritzinger reported he went to the woman's house to check on her
safety. Fritzinger said the woman told him at the bar that she had been
threatened by an older man for whom she was a caregiver.
The sheriff also said Fritzinger claimed the woman attempted to hug and kiss
him at the bar.
Weeks said Fritzinger had been a deputy for five years, had a good record and
was well-liked. However, Fritzinger was fired as the Republic, Wash., police
chief in August 1991 for what then-Mayor Jim Hall described as "unstable"
Hall said Fritzinger improperly drew his gun and chased some innocent people
at a rural location where he suspected they had trashed a camp trailer he
Earlier, Hall said, Fritzinger was reprimanded for improper surveillance of
his former girlfriend and her new boyfriend.
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