Rape trial for former state employee set to begin

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — A trial is set to begin Wednesday for a former top staffer at Washington’s Department of Fish and Wildlife accused of raping a co-worker in 2014.

The Olympian newspaper reports that 55-year-old Gregory Schirato is accused of second-degree rape and first-degree burglary. Schirato, a former agency division leader, has pleaded not guilty.

Thurston County prosecutors allege he broke into the home of a co-worker after a Christmas party in 2014 and raped her while she slept. Schirato was arrested four months later.

Court documents show the alleged victim went to a party on Dec. 17, 2014 and returned home intoxicated. She said she woke up the next morning to find her clothes undone and a door window broken. Investigators say they linked Schirato to the incident through DNA evidence.

Schirato’s attorney, Richard Woodrow, told The News Tribune in August that he’s confident Schirato will be proven innocent and said Schirato did not enter the woman’s home that evening.