Boise police officer arrested Wednesday on rape accusation, booked into jail

A Boise Police Department officer of nearly 20 years was booked into the Ada County Jail on Wednesday on a felony rape accusation.

Eric M. Simunich, 43, turned himself in and was taken into custody by Ada County sheriff’s deputies around noon. BPD verified that he has been suspended from duty and that the alleged crime occurred while he was off duty.

A news release from the Ada County Sheriff’s Office indicated that the charge and arrest stemmed from a report of sexual assault at an Eagle-area home. The alleged victim called 911 on Monday morning, spokesman Patrick Orr said in the release, and sheriff’s detectives then began an investigation.

Orr said detectives found evidence that Simunich forced himself on the woman, whom he had met the day before the alleged rape. They sent the results of their investigation to the Ada County Prosecutor’s Office, which issued an arrest warrant Wednesday.

“Per Boise Police Department protocol, the officer has been suspended pending the conclusion of the Ada County Sheriff’s Office criminal investigation and a BPD internal investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident,” according to a news release from BPD.

The Idaho Statesman’s salary database created in May lists Simunich as a corporal making just over $36 an hour. He was hired in 2000.

Simunich will be arraigned Thursday afternoon.

The crime of rape is punishable by up to life in prison.

Need help?

The Faces of Hope Victim Center is available for victims in need of emergency services at 417 S. 6th St. in Boise. Victims should call 911 in emergencies or call 208-577-4400 on weekdays during business hours. Faces of Hope provides free medical care and forensic examinations for victims, as well as assistance with filing police reports and mental health care.

Survivors who may need help are also encouraged to contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673.

Reporter Ruth Brown covers the criminal justice and correctional systems in Idaho. She focuses on breaking news, public safety and social justice. Prior to coming to the Idaho Statesman, she was a reporter at the Idaho Press-Tribune, the Bakersfield Californian and the Idaho Falls Post Register.