3.04.2008

TS - Gundersen, alleged second victim were living together, report says

TS Gundersen, alleged second victim were living together, report says

The second woman that David Gundersen is accused of sexually assaulting told investigators she was involved in an intimate relationship with the Blue Lake police chief and said she reported the incident to Eureka police in 1999, according to recently filed court documents.

Gundersen has pleaded not guilty to 19 charges, including 12 counts of spousal rape and one count of transporting or kidnapping a second victim with the use of a firearm for the purpose of rape. He remains in the Humboldt County Correctional Facility, held on $1.25 million bail.

Court documents filed last week shed new light on charges that Gundersen allegedly raped a second woman in March 1999, and state that Gundersen and the alleged victim were living together and involved in an intimate relationship.

The documents also list in greater detail the firearms reportedly seized from Gundersen's home and the Blue Lake Police Department, and offer a glimpse into the case the prosecution is preparing for the embattled police chief's March 20 preliminary hearing.

According to a Humboldt County District Attorney Office investigation report, district attorney personnel first received word of a second alleged victim through a letter from the woman's friend five days after Gundersen was arrested.

In an interview with investigators, the friend provided more information but was unable to say where the woman was now, according to the report. The district attorney's office was able to track her down after Chief Investigator Mike Hislop noticed a personnel file belonging to a person by a similar name in the evidence room while serving a search warrant on the Blue Lake Police Department, according to the report.

The report states the woman was interviewed by Hislop on Feb. 25.

”Victim 2 told me she had an intimate relationship with Gundersen in 1998,” the report states.

She is described as saying the relationship lasted about two years with the two living together for the relationship's final six months.

While planning the couple's wedding, the woman said she got into an argument with Gundersen after discovering he was still married to his now ex-wife, according to the report.

”Gundersen grabbed Victim 2 with both hands and started pushing her into the living room and then down the hallway towards their bedroom,” the report of the interview states. “Once in the bedroom, Gundersen pushed her on the bed. ... At this point, Gundersen took his handgun out of his holster. Victim 2 was threatened by the gun and was concerned what Gundersen was going to do.”

In the report's description of the alleged rape, Gundersen is said to put down the gun, at which point the woman states she contemplated picking it up and shooting Gundersen but she said couldn't bring herself to do it because Gundersen's two sons were in the other room.

The report states the woman said she left Gundersen the next day, and made a report to Eureka Police Sgt. Len Johnson 19 days later. She told Hislop she never heard back from the Eureka Police Department, according to the report.

Hislop spoke with Johnson, according to the report, but Johnson said he did not recall any specifics or what the alleged second victim had contacted him about.

The woman also told Hislop that she worked under cover for Gundersen in both Trinidad and Blue Lake. It is unclear if she worked for the Blue Lake or Trinidad police departments. Calls to city officials were not returned.

According to the district attorney's investigation report, Gundersen reportedly attempted to look up the woman using a law enforcement data base in September 2007. That lead to Gundersen being charged with “unlawfully accessing government records,” District Attorney Paul Gallegos wrote in a motion to increase Gundersen's bail.

”That charge relates to the defendant requesting CLETS [California Law Enforcement Telecommunication System] information on Jane Doe 2 through the Humboldt County Sheriff's Department on September 27, 2007,” Gallegos wrote. “This presents a unique concern regarding the safety and welfare of Doe 2.”

Another investigation report from the District Attorney's Office lists weapons reportedly seized from Gundersen's home and the Blue Lake Police Department.

In addition to the Hekler & Koch MP5 machine gun and the pistol with a silencer attached, both of which led to possession charges, law enforcement also reported seizing 22 other firearms from Gundersen's residence, including seven unregistered hand guns.

A total of 46 firearms were reportedly seized from the department, according to the report. A separate report indicates Blue Lake City Manager Wiley Buck requested that the District Attorney's Office take all the department's guns for “safekeeping.”

Gundersen's court file also contained a list of exhibits the prosecution intends to introduce at the upcoming preliminary hearing: Four photographs of a nude woman (one of which, the list states, was allegedly taken while the woman was asleep), a CD interview of Jane Doe 1, transcripts of an interview with Jane Doe 1, photographs of a Hekler & Koch MP5 machine gun and a pistol with an attached silencer, a copy of the Use of Firearms section of the Blue Lake Police Department's manual, a copy of the Emergency Protective Order filed against Gundersen which expired last month, a copy of computer aided dispatch call information from the Eureka Police Department and a copy of the Wikipedia page for the Hekler & Koch MP5 machine gun.

Thadeus Greenson can be reached at 441-0509 or tgreenson@times-standard.com
Thadeus Greenson The Times-Standard
Article Launched: 03/04/2008 01:31:19 AM PST