Rep. Brian Stout Removed from House Committees as Sexual Abuse Protection Order Against Him Remains in Place
Oregon House Speaker Dan Rayfield has removed freshman Rep. Brian Stout (R-Columbia City) from his committee duties as a five-year protective order against Stout remains in place.
A former poll worker accused Stout in November of sexually abusing her and threatening her with violence. At a hearing in St. Helens, Oregon last week, Stout moved to dismiss the order without any testimony. District Court Judge Cathleen B. Callahan denied the motion. Stout’s attorney then called numerous witnesses and the hearing was scheduled to resume on March 29 when plaintiff witnesses will comment.
According to his state website, Stout had been placed on two House committees: the Committee on Economic Development and Small Business and the Committee on Business and Labor. (Stout, 55, owns a screen printing business.)
“It’s important to have guiding principles to help me rise above the partisan struggle when making important decisions,” Rayfield (D-Covallis) said in a statement. “An injunction — filed under penalty of perjury — crosses that line. I have a responsibility for the safety and security of those on the Capitol, and I will keep that in mind. I continue to find the nature of these allegations disturbing and take this very seriously. I had hoped that the hearing process would be completed by Friday to have clear direction. It remains to be noted that the chairman still has an active preliminary injunction.”
As first reported by ww, a Columbia County judge issued a five-year protective order against Stout in November after a woman claimed in court documents that he sexually abused her during his failed 2020 campaign and later threatened to throw her off a cliff. He also threatened to cut her throat, the woman said. (It is wwpolicy of not naming victims in sexual assault cases.)
At last Friday’s hearing, Stout denied all of the woman’s allegations of sexual abuse and said he never threatened her in any way. He admitted the woman performed fellatio on him after a campaign rally in 2020, but he said the encounter was consensual and that she initiated it. Stout confirmed his wife entered the couple when the crime ended.
“There was a big miscalculation on my part,” Stout said. “I had her pull down my pants and do oral sex. It was short, it was short, and it was a mistake. She wanted it to continue. It has not.”
The woman filed her motion for a sex abuse protection order in Columbia County Circuit Court on Nov. 7, court filings show. A judge issued the order the same day. The next day, Stout defeated Democrat Anthony Sorace in the race for House District 31. The seat was held by incumbent Democrat Brad Witt, but the reallocation eliminated the Democrats’ advantage in the district and Witt moved to Salem to seek a seat there.
Stout’s victory helped the GOP Democrats lose their three-fifths majority in the Oregon House.
One thing changed at Friday’s hearing. Previously, the protective order had said Stout was to remain at least 150 feet from his accuser at all times. Now, when both parties are at the Capitol in Salem, they must stay as far apart as possible. The building is narrow, Judge Callahan said, so 150 feet would likely be impossible at any time.