Yakima County deputy prosecutor charged in sexual assault case

Deputy prosecutor was accused of sexual assault while handling sex-crime cases

YAKIMA, Wash. — A Yakima County deputy prosecutor is facing criminal charges after authorities say he sexually assaulted a former intimate partner multiple times in July 2021.

Alvin Lee Guzman, Jr. was formally arraigned Monday on four counts of fourth-degree assault and two counts of indecent liberties — all domestic violence-related and with an allegation of sexual motivation.

According to court documents, the reported incidents of sexual assault took place July 18, 19, 22-23, 23-24, 27-28 and 29-30 against a woman Guzman had previously been in a relationship with.

About a week after the alleged incidents, the woman filed a petition for a protection order Aug. 5, 2021 in Yakima County Superior Court. A judge granted the protection order and reissued it in January.

Yakima County Prosecuting Attorney Joseph Brusic said he did not take any immediate action in response to the allegations made in the petition because it was a civil matter between two parties at that point and not a criminal investigation.

“We didn’t know the facts and, once again, he’s presumed innocent,” Brusic said.

However, Brusic said he did take action soon after the petition was filed, once he learned the Yakima Police Department had launched a criminal investigation into those allegations.

“We treated this very seriously from the moment that that we received the the true essence of the investigation and took appropriate, immediate action,” Brusic said.

At that time, Guzman was part of the special assault unit, working to prosecute people accused of sexual assault, among other charges. Brusic said he decided to transfer Guzman to the general felony unit while the investigation continued.

“We as lawyers deal with perception as much as reality and the perception of him being investigated and/or potentially charged with some kind of sexual assault allegation is not a good perception,” Brusic said.

Once the investigation was concluded, Brusic had all of the information sent on to the Kittitas County Superior Court, which he says does not have a conflict of interest in this case.

“I had nothing to do with that investigation in terms of making a decision as to whether Mr. Guzman was charged or not charged with a crime,” Brusic said.

Brusic placed Guzman on unpaid administrative leave Feb. 22 after he learned charges had been filed against him. He said Guzman will remain on leave indefinitely, likely until the case is resolved.

“This will work its way through the system one way or the other and I just hope that everybody appreciates and respects the process,” Brusic said.

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