WENATCHEE — A Blewett Pass man is free and cleared of charges after prosecutors agreed there's no evidence he held a woman against her will.
Charges of unlawful imprisonment, domestic assault, harassment and animal cruelty against Douglas Shane Port, 50, were thrown out Monday, based in part on work by investigator Cory Clark at the Counsel for Defense of Chelan County. Deputy prosecutor Gene Pearce and Port's public defense attorney Robert Gower said the alleged victim contradicted her own story several times during a June 9 interview.
"This is a very rare case where the state is dismissing not because they have proof problems, but because the defendant appears to be factually innocent," Gower said.
Port was released Monday from the Chelan County Regional Justice Center, where he's been held since his April 14 arrest.
He was taken into custody after a 48-year-old woman claimed he kept her locked up for a week in his Valley Hi home, and committed violence including sexual assault against her during the imprisonment. She told police she escaped through an upper-story window April 13, just before flagging down a State Patrol trooper.
Her allegations against Port included claims that he stubbed out a cigarette on her dog's back, refused to let her treat her diabetes with insulin, took painkillers she’d been prescribed to use for himself, dumped the ashes of her late son into the toilet, and built a small pipe bomb with which to threaten his neighbors.
"We found numerous inconsistencies in (her) statements along with questionable claims and implausible scenarios involving the defendant," deputy prosecutor Pearce wrote in a court affidavit seeking dismissal.
Wenatchee police officers who'd dealt with the alleged victim in the past told Pearce she has a reputation for being untruthful. In the June 9 interview, her story crumbled, beginning with her escape from the home.
"She had three different stories with three different windows, and none of them are plausible," Gower said. "... The windows are either extremely high off the ground, or they're windows no adult human would possibly be able to get out of."
Chelan County deputies who investigated Port's home found exterior locks on the doors that seemed to support the woman's claim of imprisonment. However, Gower said the locks were in place when Port's family bought the property, presumably to fend off burglars.
In spite of this, Gower said, the home was burglarized while Port was detained in jail.
Jefferson Robbins: 664-7123