Spokane judges slammed for releasing suspected pedophiles and rapists
Woke judges in America’s fastest-growing city Spokane are slammed for releasing dozens of suspected pedophiles and rapists without bail – including notorious cop who raped two women
- Judges in Spokane, Washington, released 665 people accused of violent crimes
- Offenses ranged from rape, molesting children, making death threats to assaults
- Officials slammed the new data as concerning and called for an investigation
Judges in America’s fastest-growing city are facing scrutiny for releasing dozens of suspected pedophiles and rapists without bail – including a cop who raped two women after using his badge to gain their trust.
A report from The Spokesman-Review unveiled the releases – showing how from 2021 to September 2023, judges in Spokane, Washington, have released 665 people accused of violent crimes.
Offenses ranged from rape, molesting children, making death threats, assaults, and vehicular homicide, the report revealed – but like ex-Spokane officer Nathan Nash, 39, all thought to be responsible were released as they awaited trial.
Others arrested for more serious offenses, like first-degree murder, were also able to walk out of one of the city’s only two county jails unhindered – including 43-year-old Jordan Knippling, who prosecutors say killed a 53-year-old man at a homeless camp.
Several who spoke to the Review, including the county sheriff and city’s spread-thin police chief, called the data concerning – with County Commissioner Al French telling the paper the releases do not stem from overcrowding.
Judges in Washington’s state’s Spokane are being slammed for releasing dozens of suspected pedophiles and rapists without bail – including Nathan Nash, who raped two women while on duty in 2019 and 2021. He has since been found guilty and is serving a 14-year sentence
Others arrested for more serious offenses were also able to walk out of one of the city’s only two jails – including Jordan Knippling (pictured), who prosecutors say killed a man in 2020. He is alleged to have committed the crime days after being booked for attempted murder
Instead, said – citing how judges ‘have said [they] don’t make decisions on jail’ – ‘the only conclusion left [is] just bad judicial judgment’, leaving the city’s some 230,000 residents at risk.
‘The data is alarming,’ French said. ‘We are assessing how to respond.’
In the meantime, judges like Spokane County Superior’s Julie McKay continue to cast down such judgments – with McKay, the court’s current presiding judge, offering an explanation to the paper.
She said Sunday of he releases: ‘The presumption when they hit jail is that they are going to go right back out.
‘That’s where we start from, because that’s what the law says,’ she insisted.
‘From there, you are looking at an analysis of if you’re going to hold somebody… you have to be able to hold them saying they are going to fail to come to court or they are at risk of committing a violent offense.’
Other concerns she said she and jurists reflect upon include suspects’ ‘risk of interfering with witnesses’ or interfering with the court’s administration of justice – a task she is inherently responsible for as the court’s top judge and spokesperson.
‘Then from there, we’re looking at various things,’ she continued, explaining the shift in policy seen during her almost eight-year term.
‘For instance, criminal history, mental health history if it’s available,’ she said, before listing other factors she said are reflected upon.
‘How old their criminal history is, what the actual facts of the case are, whether it is what would be considered a violent crime’, she explained.
A report from The Spokesman-Review unveiled the releases – showing how from 2021 to this past September, judges in Spokane, Washington, have released some 665 accused of violent crimes. Pictured is the city’s only courthouse
The city’s only two jails house an average of more than 700 inmates daily – though officials told the paper the releases do not stem from overcrowding and instead bad judgment from jurists, who 33 times rereleased defendants arrested on accusations of rape since the start of 2021
Several who spoke to the Review, including the county sheriff and city’s spread-thin police chief , called the data concerning – with County Commissioner Al French telling the paper the releases do not stem from overcrowding
The jurist also pointed out how state law says everyone accused of a crime is innocent until proven guilty, and thus those arrested should at least be considered for release.
In the meantime, judges like Spokane County Superior’s Julie McKay continue to cast down such judgments – with McKay, the court’s current top judge, offering an explanation to the paper that cited how the court bases their decisions on a variety of factors
That said, as the Spokesman-Review indicated in its piece, judges have the burden of contemplating the scope of what’s in the law – with such consideration often subjective and up to the discretion of the individual jurist.
But, as French put it, ‘some judges are good at protecting, [and] some are not,’ with him and several others criticizing the current bond standards for creating a revolving door on the fast-growing city’s two detention facilities.
Per the data in the Spokesman’s report – which was provided by the county – there have been 33 times defendants arrested on accusations of rape were released without having to post bail since the start of 2021.
Among those cases, the statistics showed, 19 involved a child.
Moreover, an additional 24 were accused of child molestation, the paper reported.
In each of those cases, the defendant was released from jail on their own recognizance, allowed to await trial without any monitoring or check-ins.
Similarly, some 2,704 accused of a felony crime within that 33-month period were also let out of jail without having to post bail.
Of those, 235 were accused of class A felonies – which often result in life sentences.
That said, the data does not include names of offenders, the outcomes of their cases, or demographics such as race, gender, economic status or age.
What’s more, the list only represents the most serious charge leveled against each offender even if they faced multiple cases – such was the case with Knippling, who prosecutors say killed a man days after being booked for attempted murder back in 2020.
Another defendant that the Spokesman was able to name was 35-year-old Daniel Silva – who was released the morning of September 22 despite allegedly slashing a co-worker’s face with a handsaw only hours before. Pictured is the Fred Meyer store where the incident took place
The most sensational name uncovered in the report was that of Nash, who was found guilty last week, after spending years awaiting trial from the comfort of his home
About a year before, he walked out of the Spokane County Jail – which, along with Geiger Corrections Center houses an average of more than 700 inmates daily – without bail after he was accused of punching a nurse at a Spokane Valley hospital.
He is now being held on a $1,000,000 bond as he awaits trial for first-degree murder.
Another defendant that the Spokesman was able to name based on identifying factors of their case was 35-year-old Daniel Silva – who was released the morning of September 22 despite allegedly slashing a co-worker’s face with a handsaw only hours before.
The most sensational name contained in the report, though, was that of Nash, who was found guilty of raping two women while on duty last week, and is now in the midst of a 14-year sentence.
That comes after he was allowed to spend years awaiting trial not from the confines of a jail cell, but from his own home.
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