Whatcom CBP employee suspected of raping and choking woman to point she couldn’t speak

Staff/The Bellingham Herald file

A Whatcom County man who is an employee of U.S. Customs and Border Protection is suspected of raping a woman and choking with her enough force that she couldn’t speak or move her arms.

The Lynden Police Department booked John Wesley Elmore, 52, into Whatcom County Jail Thursday, Nov. 18, on suspicion of second-degree rape.

Whatcom County Superior Court records show charges of second-degree rape and second-degree assault (with sexual motivation) were filed Nov. 10 and a warrant for his arrest was issued on Nov. 12.

“CBP stresses honor and integrity in every aspect of our mission, and the overwhelming majority of CBP employees and officers/agents perform their duties with honor and distinction, working tirelessly every day to keep our country safe,” spokesperson Jason Givens told The Bellingham Herald in an email confirming that Elmore was a CBP employee. “CBP fully cooperates with all criminal and administrative investigations of alleged misconduct by any of our personnel, whether it occurs on or off duty”

Officers were first alerted to the report of a rape Aug. 4 by Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services while the victim was being examined at St. Joseph hospital in Bellingham, court documents show.

Police spoke to the victim, and she reported that the alleged rape occurred on July 31, documents show.

The victim told police that she met Elmore though Facebook Dating a few weeks earlier and that she and Elmore had talked through Facebook for a while and decided to meet in person, according to documents.

They went on a date July 30, which the victim said went well and ended with consensual sex, documents state.

The victim reported she met Elmore again July 31, documents state, and they again had sex that started as consensual, but Elmore began to choke her. She reported that Elmore choked her so hard she believed she turned blue and could not speak, and though she wasn’t sure if she ever lost consciousness, the victim said she couldn’t move her arms.

The victim also told police Elmores actions made her too scared to tell him to stop.


If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence or sexual assault, you can contact the following local resources for free, confidential support:

Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Services: 24-hour Help Line: 360-715-1563, Email: info@dvsas.org.

Lummi Victims of Crime: 360-312-2015.

Tl’ils Ta’á’altha Victims of Crime: 360-325-3310 or nooksacktribe.org/departments/youth-family-services/tlils-taaaltha-victims-of-crime-program/

Bellingham Police: You can call anonymously at 360-778-8611, or go online at cob.org/tips.

WWU Consultation and Sexual Assault Support Survivor Advocacy Services: 360-650-3700 or wp.wwu.edu/sexualviolence/.