Pullman psychologist accused of sex assault found dead in jail cell

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Pullman psychologist and therapist Dean Funabiki was found dead in his cell Sunday night at the Whitman County Jail.

The sheriff’s department said he wasn’t on suicide watch, but it appeared he took his own life.

Pullman police arrested Funabiki Friday night on a charge of second-degree rape.

Investigators began looking into allegations in January of 2018 after a patient in her 40’s told police she was sexually assaulted by him during a therapy session.

Investigators said DNA testing verified Mr. Funabiki had sexual contact with his accuser.

“He was cooperative with authorities at the time, he turned himself in,” said Sheriff Brett Myers. “He had retained his own attorney, there was no indication that anything like this would happen.”

Funabiki was booked into the Whitman County Jail in Colfax.

He was checked for suicidal tendencies, but jail staff found no reason to believe he was.

“No absolutely not, we check those things, and we take situations like this very seriously,” Myers said Monday. “Had there been any indication he was suicidal, there would have been different procedures in place.”

Jail staff found Funabiki in his cell, handing from his bedsheet.

“Well the corrections officers do round, regular rounds, and he was found during one of the regular rounds by a corrections officer.”

Funabiki was unresponsive.

Medics took him to the Whitman County Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

He was facing life in prison and or a $50,000 fine.

The Whitman County coroner will perform an autopsy.

A note was found in Dean Funabiki’s cell.

Law enforcement are investigating to see if there are any other victims.

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