A Columbia County Circuit Court judge last month granted a five-year protective order against Brian Stout, a Republican who won election to the Oregon House of Representatives on Nov. 8, WW has learned.
Court records show that a woman alleged Stout had sexually abused her and later threatened to shove her off a cliff. He also threatened to slit her throat, she says.
The woman filed her petition for a sexual abuse protective order in Columbia County Circuit Court on Nov. 7, court records show. A judge granted the order the same day. (It is WW’s policy not to name the victim in sexual assault cases.)
The next day, Stout, 55, a married father of two who owns a screen printing business, defeated Democrat Anthony Sorace in the race for House District 31. The seat has been held by incumbent state Rep. Brad Witt (D-Clatskanie), but redistricting eliminated Democrats’ voter registration advantage in the district and Witt moved to Salem to seek a seat there.
Stout’s victory last month helped the GOP strip Democrats of their three-fifths supermajority in the Oregon House.
Reached by phone, Stout declined to comment.
In her filing, the woman describes a relationship that began as consensual but later became abusive. She describes “kissing and cuddling” with Stout in his office in St. Helens in August 2020. Then, “he suddenly pushed me down in the couch with my hands above my head and held me there. He had a weird look that scared me.”
Stout brought up the incident the next day, saying, “I thought about raping you last night,” the woman alleges.
Around the same time, after a campaign meeting, the pair started “making out.” Stout “inserted his fingers in me. I was consenting. This is as far as I wanted to go.” Then Stout “quickly pulled down my pants and started performing oral sex. I froze because it startled me, and I didn’t know what to do.”
Afterward, Stout said he wanted to see her naked. “I was uncomfortable because I only owned nursing bras and weaned my youngest earlier that year,” the woman wrote in her petition. “I kept saying no.”
Stout became “aggressive” at that point, she alleges. She managed to push him onto the couch. “He became very soft and kind and said how beautiful I was. He had his legs spread and was touching himself.”
The encounter ended with the woman pinned to the couch, she alleges. “I was terrified and turned my head and closed my eyes. I thought he was going to rape me and hurt me. Then his wife walked in. She started screaming.”
Stout apologized to his wife, who left the room, the woman wrote in her court filing. “He started frantically putting his clothes on and said, ‘I’m going to blow my head off.’” Later that night, the woman alleges, Stout sent her a picture of a gun.
In the section of her petition where she describes why she fears for her safety, the woman writes: “Brian threatened to kill me if I ever told [anyone] about us, once by saying he would shove me off a cliff. Second time he said he would slit my throat.”
In a Nov. 17 motion to dismiss the protective order, Stout’s attorney, Nicholas Herman, said the woman’s allegations were politically motivated, noting that the alleged abuse took place more than 15 months prior to her seeking court protection.
“The timing here is very relevant,” Herman wrote in a Nov. 17 filing seeking a dismissal of the order. “[The woman] filed the petition on Nov. 7, 2022, one day before the election. Petitioner even managed same-day rush service on the order.”
The timing “speaks volumes to the real reason why the petition was filed—to put verifiably false and malicious allegations in the public record one day before the election in which [Stout] was on the ballot,” Herman added. (For privacy reasons, petitions for protective orders are not included in searchable online court databases, so the court records were invisible to the public.)
In a response to Stout’s motion for dismissal, the alleged victim disputed Stout’s attorney’s argument. “If this was a political act,” she wrote, “the petition would have been filed before the ballots were mailed out.”
In a statement given to WW on Dec. 2 through an advocate, the alleged victim added: “I felt like I had no choice but to file a restraining order for the safety of myself and my children.
“Speaking out against someone with power and influence is terrifying,” she continued. “I was repeatedly silenced and eventually relieved of my responsibilities with the Columbia County Republican Party for speaking up against the then Republican nominee, but I’m standing in my strength to ensure harm is not done to anyone else; to reclaim my peace and begin my healing journey.”
Stout’s motion to dismiss the order will be heard Dec. 5.