Pullman therapist held on rape charges found dead in cell

REBECCA WHITE, Evergreen assistant news editor

Whitman County Jail officers discovered a Pullman therapist, Dean Funabiki, 67, who was being held on rape charges, dead in his cell late Sunday night.

Whitman County Sheriff Brett Myers said officers found Funabiki unresponsive and hanging from a bed frame in his cell at about 11:30 p.m. Emergency responders attempted life-saving measures and transported Funabiki to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Myers said the sheriff’s office would be working with the Whitman County Coroner’s Office to determine cause of death, and the investigation is ongoing.


Funabiki surrendered himself to police late Friday night and was booked on second-degree rape charges, which include rape when the perpetrator is a health care provider, the victim is a patient and the assault occurred during treatment, according to a Pullman Police Department news release.

A patient in her 40s reported that Funabiki sexually assaulted her last month during a therapy session in his office. Police acquired a search warrant and collected DNA samples from Funabiki, and the evidence was sent to the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab for analysis.

The Crime Lab positively matched DNA from Funabiki to DNA collected from an exam of the victim, according to the news release.
His company, Funabiki and Associates, offered therapy to individuals and couples and was not accepting new patients, according to their website.

This story has been updated from its original version.