Democratic leaders of the Oregon House called on freshman Rep. Brian Stout (R-Columbia City) to resign a day after a circuit court judge upheld a five-year sexual abuse restraining order granted to a woman who claims Stout threatened to throw her off a cliff at Multnomah Falls if she revealed an affair the two had during his failed 2020 campaign.
“I’ve been deeply troubled by the allegations of sexual abuse and abusive behavior since they surfaced,” House Speaker Dan Rayfield (D-Corvallis) said in a statement. “The behavior described in the judge’s order does not align with the values of the House of Representatives. I no longer believe he can effectively serve and should therefore resign.”
Rayfield removed Stout from committee assignments soon after Stout took his seat in January. If Stout chooses to stay in the House, he will still be denied committee membership, Rayfield said.
“After reading Judge [Cathleen B.] Callahan’s ruling, including her summary of the extensive testimony over three days of hearings, I believe that Rep. Stout should resign,” House Majority Leader Julie Fahey (D-Eugene) said in a statement. “His behavior was completely unacceptable, and it’s clear that he won’t be able to effectively represent the people of his district. His resignation would mean that the communities in House District 31 can move forward under new representation.”
In a statement, Oregon House Minority Leader Vikki Breese-Iverson (R-Prineville) said, “Rep. Brian Stout is reflecting on the court determination with his family and community.”
On a call with reporters, Rayfield said he spoke to Stout and had a “good exchange.”
“It was polite and I think we understood where both of us were coming from,” Rayfield said.
In a letter to attorneys for Stout and the woman yesterday, Judge Callahan summarized evidence from the hearing, saying four times that Stout’s testimony was “not credible.”
During the hearing, Stout, who is married, said that the affair was a mistake. He admitted only that the woman had performed fellatio on him after a 2020 campaign event, but that the encounter was consensual and she had initiated it, he said. Stout’s wife walked in on the pair as the act concluded.
“There was a huge lapse of judgment by me,” Stout said. “I let her pull my pants down and perform oral sex. It was short, it was brief, and it was a mistake. She wanted it to go further. It did not.”
Stout denied that he sexually abused the woman on any of five occasions she detailed in her Nov. 7 petition for the protective order, calling her accounts “flat-out lies.”
Stout’s attorney, Nicholas Herman, says his client plans to appeal Callahan’s ruling.