Walla Walla rape case dismissed -- for now

Bryan M. Harvey had been accused of attacking a girl at his residence after a party.

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WALLA WALLA -- Charges against a man accused of raping a teenage girl at his residence in January 2008 have been dismissed -- at least for now -- in Walla Walla County Superior Court.

Bryan M. Harvey, 25, had been accused of second-degree rape and furnishing liquor to minors.

Harvey's trial was postponed several times for various reasons and Harvey's attorney, Michael de Grasse, asked Judge John Lohrmann to dismiss the case for violation of Harvey's right to a speedy trial.

The trial last was scheduled to begin in July, but Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Joe Golden said in an interview he agreed to drop the case for the time-being. Meanwhile, he said, he will research whether the claim of a speedy-trial violation has merit and will continue to investigate the allegations against Harvey. According to the order signed Tuesday by Lohrmann, Golden can refile the charges later, if warranted.

Officials alleged Harvey bought beer the night of Jan. 26, 2008, and took it to a party on East Chestnut Street that was attended by juveniles. He later left with the girl, who was 15, and her boyfriend and they drove to the mountains where they drank beer Harvey supplied, according to a police report filed in court.

After midnight, they reportedly went to Harvey's then-apartment in the 400 block of South Seventh Avenue where the girl passed out on Harvey's bed next to another girl who was with the group. Harvey allegedly forced the girl's boyfriend to leave about 3 a.m. and Harvey then raped the girl, officials said.

The girl claims to have struggled with Harvey for about an hour before she left with the other girl. Police were notified later that day.

Tuesday's dismissal is the second time the case has been dropped. Harvey previously faced identical charges, but they were dismissed in June 2008 at the prosecution's request because officials were unable to locate the victim at the time.

The charges were refiled in August 2009 and Harvey was arrested. But he was released from the County Jail the following month pending further court proceedings.

Terry McConn can be reached at terrymcconn@wwub.com or 526-8319.

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