State Sen. Joe Fain (R-Auburn), center, greets supporters at a breakfast campaign event with state Sen. Ann Rivers (R-La Center), left, on Oct. 14, 2018.
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State Sen. Joe Fain (R-Auburn), center, greets supporters at a breakfast campaign event with state Sen. Ann Rivers (R-La Center), left, on Oct. 14, 2018.
Credit: KUOW Photo/Sydney Brownstone

Lawmaker's rape inquiry will continue despite election outcome, Dems say

An investigation into the rape allegation against state Sen. Joe Fain will continue even though he lost his re-election campaign, Senate Democrats say.

In September, a Seattle woman accused Sen. Joe Fain (R-Auburn) of raping her in 2007. Fain denied the allegation and called for an investigation to clear his name. Candace Faber, the woman who said Fain raped her, also called on state lawmakers to investigate.

But it was only once election results started rolling in that state lawmakers voted to pursue an investigation — an investigation that will continue, Senate Democrats say, even though Fain lost his seat.

Secretary of the Senate Brad Hendrickson said he wasn't aware of any plans to cancel the investigation.

Fain conceded the race last week. His concession statement on Facebook did not address the allegation.

Aaron Wasser, spokesperson for the Senate Democrats, said last week that the investigation would not continue if Fain lost his bid for re-election.

But this week, attitudes may have changed. New Majority Leader and state Sen. Andy Billig (D-Spokane) has been talking with Republicans, Wasser said. Faber also requested that the investigation continue.

"I think people view it as one of the first chances to get one of these things right," Wasser said.

State lawmakers want to show that these kinds of allegations will be taken seriously, Wasser said. Fain will remain in office until early January.

Last week, the state Senate Facilities and Operations Committee unanimously voted to hire an investigator to report back to lawmakers on the rape allegation. The report is scheduled for mid- to late December.

It's unclear at this point, Wasser said, what the scope of the report would include.