Legislators and Victim Rights Organisations Demand That House Leaders Investigate Rep. Brian Stout

Legislators and Victim Rights Organisations: A group of state lawmakers and advocates have asked the leadership of the Oregon House to look into claims that newly elected member Brian Stout se*ually assaulted a woman while running for office.

In November, a judge in Columbia County gave Stout a five-year order to stay away from him, as WW reported last month (R-Clatskanie). Court documents say that a woman said Stout abused her se*ually and then threatened to push her off a cliff. She also said that he had said he would cut her throat.

Legislators And Victim Rights Groups Call Upon House Leaders To Investigate Rep. Brian Stout

Court records show that the woman asked the Columbia County Circuit Court for a protective order on November 7 because she had been sexually abused. A judge gave the order that very same day. (It is against company policy to reveal the names of people who have been se*ually assaulted.)

Marchel Marcos, who is the political director of the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon and the founder of Voice for Survivors, sent an open letter to legislators to protect the people who work at the Capitol and the Oregonians she brings there as part of her job. Marcos says, “I don’t want to put anyone in my community through a hard time.”

Legislators and Victim Rights Organisations

Voice for Survivors sent a copy of a letter to legislators, asking them to “take the steps necessary to find out if Representative Brian Stout broke any relevant laws, rules, or ethical guidelines and to hold him accountable for his actions as needed.” The letter was sent to many people, including House Speaker Dan Rayfield (D-Corvallis), House Minority Leader Vikki Breese-Iverson (R-Prineville), and others.

Legislative leaders are also asked to do “safety assessments” and “take all steps necessary to prevent retaliation against people who come forward with concerns or participate in conduct-related processes,” according to a statement from the group. This is so that people who have been hurt can still fully participate in legislative spaces and processes.

The Voice for Survivors letter was signed by Khanh Pham (D-Portland), Hoa Nguyen (D-Portland), and Akasha Lawrence-Spence (D-Ore.). Some of the groups that have signed are Citrine Solutions Political Consulting LLC, APANO, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon. Voice for Survivors speaks up for people who have been hurt by se*ual and domestic violence in politics and policy.

Voice for Survivors sent a letter to the Oregon legislature praising their commitment to openness and better workplace safety. Both the decision to fire Mike Nearman in June 2021 and the efforts to hold former Rep. Diego Hernandez accountable, which led to his resignation in March 2021, were bipartisan moves that kept everyone safe in the State Capitol.

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