Former WSU student guilty of rape in the second degree

Man convicted of raping woman at party in 2017 will face minimum 7.5 years



“This is a crime of intimidation … this is the crime of scaring people when they’re at their most vulnerable,” said Dan LeBeau, Whitman County chief deputy prosecutor.

CODY SCHOELER, Evergreen reporter

A Whitman County jury found a former WSU student guilty of rape in the second degree and furnishing liquor to minors on March 28.

Chief Deputy Prosecutor Dan LeBeau wrote in a press release that 23-year-old Thomas Culhane was convicted as a result of behavior at a party the former WSU student hosted in August 2017.

According to the press release, Culhane served liquor and marijuana to attendees at the party. Other guests left at 1 a.m., and Culhane had sexual intercourse with a female college student who had stayed behind because she was incapacitated by alcohol.

The state had 15 witnesses testify, and all the individuals from the party said the victim was obviously intoxicated, according to the press release. 

Culhane also took the stand and testified that the student was flirting with him because she removed her shirt, but the press release states that it was not the case.

“At one point, the victim was hot and removed her shirt, but there was nothing sexual about the act,” according to the press release.

Culhane’s sentencing is scheduled for May 3 in the Whitman County Superior Court, LeBeau wrote. He is facing a minimum sentence of 7.5 to 10 years and a life sentence maximum.