Special Reports

Judge unseals files linked to Brame rape allegation

Pierce County Superior Court Judge Katherine Stolz on Friday ordered court files be unsealed immediately in a lawsuit that includes a rape allegation against the late Tacoma Police Chief David Brame.

The documents were filed in a 1999 lawsuit by Tacoma police officer Joseph Kirby against the city, City Manager Ray Corpuz, Brame and other police officials. In a deposition in that case, former Internal Affairs investigator Dave Olsen offered details of the alleged 1988 rape. He testified he thought Brame was guilty. The deposition and other documents were sealed in September 2001.

Olsen's deposition is not among the documents made public Friday. The court clerk said it and the other depositions were not filed with other case documents and probably would be available only through the City Attorney's Office.

Disclosure of the rape accusation was blocked at the urging of assistant city attorney Shelly Kerslake, 11 months before Brame was named police chief. Citing attorney-client confidentiality, Kerslake would not say whether she told City Attorney Robin Jenkinson or Corpuz about the investigation into the rape allegation.