AP NEWS

Idaho officer rape charge dropped, still under investigation

October 25, 2019

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A judge has dismissed a felony rape charge against an Idaho police officer at the request of the prosecutors who said they need more time to present evidence.

Boise police officer Eric Simunich, 43, remains under investigation despite the dismissal, the Idaho Press reported Thursday.

Ada County prosecutors charged Simunich Oct. 16 stemming from allegations three days earlier, authorities said.

A woman Simunich took to dinner Oct. 13 and met online a day before told police he forced himself on her, left bruises and threw her phone out of her grasp, Ada County deputy prosecutor John Dinger said. The woman underwent a sexual assault exam the following day.

A judge set Simunich’s bond at $250,000, and a preliminary hearing had been scheduled Friday, authorities said.

“We filed that motion because we weren’t ready to put the case on Friday,” Twin Falls Prosecutor Grant Loebs said.

Prosecutors did not feel they had enough evidence to present the case, but a judge dismissed the case without prejudice meaning they can refile the charge if they choose to do so.

“When there’s enough evidence to go forward, we’ll refile it,” Loebs said.

Simunich’s defense attorney Scott McKay said he was pleased with the dismissal.

“We are pleased that an experienced prosecutor has looked at this case and chosen to dismiss this case. That was the responsible thing to do,” McKay said.

The Boise Police Department placed Simunich on paid administrative leave. A department spokesperson could not be reached for comment Thursday.

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Information from: Idaho Press, http://www.idahopress.com