ER - Blue Lake Police Chief arrested on suspicion of rape

Some very serious questions being asked in the absence of any concrete information in this and the reports in the Times-Standard - lots of rumors, including one posted on the Humboldt Herald Blog saying that Gundersen's ex-wife was suing for custody of their kids, and that her attorney is the DA's wife, Joan Gallegos. IF TRUE, if true, this is a serious matter. Use the labels feature below for updates, and related articles.

Blue Lake Police Chief arrested on suspicion of rapea>
By NATHAN RUSHTON, The Eureka Reporter
Published: Feb 9 2008, 5:07 PM · Updated: Feb 9 2008, 7:58 PM

Investigators from the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office arrested Blue Lake Police Chief David Ray Gundersen, 53, Friday night in McKinleyville on suspicion of rape.

Humboldt County District Attorney Paul Gallegos confirmed Saturday his office made the arrest, but said he couldn’t comment specifically on the matter.

Gallegos said more information would be released on Monday.

Brenda Godsey, Humboldt County Public Affairs Officer, said Saturday afternoon that Gundersen was arrested at approximately 6 p.m. Friday and was being held at the Humboldt County jail on a $500,000 bail.

According to booking documents, Gundersen was arrested on suspicion of violating California Penal Code 262 (a) (2), which it states is a rape of a spouse “where a person is prevented from resisting by any intoxicating or anesthetic substance, or any controlled substance, and this condition was known, or reasonably should have been known, by the accused.”

Gundersen was also accused of breaking laws stemming from an incident in 2005.

The Humboldt County Grand Jury investigated a complaint against Gundersen from a citizen of Blue Lake that alleged he had filed a false Department of Motor Vehicles report that resulted in that driver losing driving privileges for a period of about three months.

After a preliminary investigation of the significant witnesses, the Grand Jury handed up an accusation against the Blue Lake Chief of Police for willful misconduct in office.

The matter was then referred to the Superior Court for adjudication, according to the 2006-07 Grand Jury report.
Some comments off the ER site:
ANONYMOUS — FEB 11 2008, 3:51 PM
Check out that as police Captain Dave Gundersen in Adelento, California he was arrested on a variety of charges.

Count on Blue Lake to then recruit him as CHIEF. Can't let ones like him get away@!

Don't worry no matter how many women he has raped the City of Blue Lake is behind him 100% for all legal fees.


ANONYMOUS — FEB 11 2008, 5:27 PM
Dear 3:51 - and everyone else. Go to this site and find out what happened in Adelelanto: http://www.porac.org/ldf/articles/february%201%201998.html

Seems that he was falsely arrested for political reasons, the case was rejected by the DA, THERE WAS A FINDING OF FACTUAL INNOCENCE and there was a lawsuit for the city violating his civil rights and a six figure settlement.

This is just plain wrong. I will wait until I hear the facts, but what is the DA doing arresting him if they haven't decided to charge him. Is it just arrest for whatever? Sexual assault is a horrible crime, but arresting someone when there is insufficient evidence to charge is also wrong.

Is the DA going to pay the settlement if he was falsely arrested or will we as the taxpayers get hosed again?

ANONYMOUS — FEB 11 2008, 10:46 PM
Law Order sez:

Well, of course Gunderson is legally "innocent until proven guilty" at this point. As far as whether he is *actually* innocent or guilty in this disturbing case, those of us in the general public don't have much information to go on yet. We haven't yet heard from Gunderson or his supporters or attorney.

One piece of information we do have is that he has been arrested and jailed on $500,000 bond.

Another thing we know (or should know) is that very few women make false reports of rape, despite the high profile given to the few cases where that occurs.

It will be interesting to see how the law-and-order crowd reacts to this story: Will it turn out that "order" is more important than "law" to the authoritarian personalities who populate the cops-can-do-no-wrong club?

Will they circle the wagons and defend the chief, even if the evidence stacks up against him? Will the law enforcement interest groups in Sacramento open up their checkbooks for his defense?

What will they do if the physical evidence all points to rape, corroborating the victim’s account?

Perhaps some will fall back on the “socially conservative” idea that there can be no such thing as marital rape, that a husband has a "right" to force himself on his wife? I bet some privately take that position, but most of these won't have the guts to make their revolting views known to the general public.

Does the fact that the allegations are apparently being made by one cop against another cop neutralize the usual pro-cop bias of the law-and-order crowd, or does the Chief get more of a presumption that he is telling the truth because he is a man? Or because he is higher-ranking in the law enforcement hierarchy?

Perhaps they can somehow blame the whole thing on District Attorney Paul Gallegos?

Watch for the whiplash effect, as the "lawnorderers" turn from, on the one hand, defending police chiefs accused of serious crimes on the basis that they are "innocent until proven guilty" to, on the other hand, smearing in the press the victims of recent police killings, and defending those killings as "just" despite the lack of any due process at all for the victims of the police violence.

Wow those necks must be getting sore! Or perhaps some of you lawnorderers have actually evolved two faces to avoid the hypocritical whiplash effect?

DA: Allegations stem back a couple years, may have been continual occurrence
TS Blue Lake police chief arrested for alleged rape
ER Blue Lake Police Chief arrested on suspicion of rape