BOISE, Idaho — Prosecutors have decided not to file a new charge against a Boise police officer, after dropping a rape charge against him in October.
“The evidence we have is still not sufficient to go forward with charges,” Twin Falls County Prosecutor Grant Loebs, who was on the case, told the Idaho Press Thursday.
Boise Police Officer Eric Simunich, 43, had faced the rape charge in connection to an off-duty event Oct. 13. Prosecutors said he met a woman online and, following a dinner date with her that night, raped her at her home. The woman reported the incident to the police and met with a sexual assault nurse, and three days later a judge issued a warrant for Simunich’s arrest. Simunich, a 19-year veteran of the Boise Police Department, turned himself in the same day.
Simunich has been on paid leave since October and won’t return to work until the police department concludes an internal investigation, department spokeswoman Haley Williams said.
The Ada County Prosecutor’s Office asked the Twin Falls County Prosecutor’s Office to handle the case, to avoid a conflict of interest since Simunich is a Boise police officer. Two days before the scheduled preliminary hearing, Oct. 23, prosecutors from that office moved to dismiss the charge against him, saying they needed more evidence before they could go forward with the case. The judge granted the motion.
At the time, Loebs said his office might file another charge if prosecutors had sufficient evidence.
The Ada County Sheriff’s Office continued to investigate the case for months. That investigation concluded at the end of January, according to sheriff’s office spokesman Patrick Orr.
While Loebs said his office is not waiting on any further information from police, he said until the statute of limitations runs out on a given crime in any case, new evidence could still come to light that would prompt prosecutors to file a charge. In Idaho, there is no statute of limitations on rape.
“Eric Simunich did not commit any crime,” said Scott McKay, Simunich’s attorney, on Thursday. “He is innocent. An experienced prosecutor was brought in to review the case back in October, and he dismissed the charges. I was confident any further investigation would only confirm that dismissing the case was the right decision. I’m pleased for Eric and his family the matter is now concluded.”
With the county’s criminal investigation complete, the Boise Police Department has put in a formal request for the report, Williams said in an email Thursday, so it can conduct an internal investigation.
Once prosecutors had all the evidence before them, they decided they would not file a new charge against Simunich, Loebs said.
More from our partner Idaho Press: Bill would remove party-split requirement from Fish & Game Commission
Watch more Crime:
See them all in our YouTube Playlist: