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Jury convicts La Pine man of sexually abusing three children

Rusty Allen Pugh
Deschutes County Jail file
Rusty Allen Pugh

REDMOND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- At the conclusion of a trial held at the Deschutes County Fairgrounds, a jury on Friday convicted a 50-year-old La Pine man on 17 felony counts, including first-degree rape and sexual abuse, for the molestation of three young children, prosecutors said

Rusty Allen Pugh's conviction on crimes including first-degree rape and sexual abuse resulted from a Bend Police Department investigation into his abuse of three children who were 5 to 12 years old at the time of the crimes, from 2001 to 2008.

In 2019, one of the victims, who was then an adult, came forward to Bend police to report the abuse she had been subjected to as a child by Pugh, District Attorney John Hummel said.

Detectives were able to identify and interview other victims of Pugh in the following months. He was subsequently arrested and has been charged with having sexually abused six children. This jury verdict is for the abuse of three children whose cases were factually connected.

Sentencing in this matter, as well as the trial related to the abuse of the three other children, will be set by the court in the coming month, Hummel said.

Criminal trials have been moved to the Redmond fairgrounds for facilities better equipped to meet COVID-19 physical distancing and other requirements.

Hummel issued this statement on the conviction of Pugh:

“Justice was done today at the Deschutes County Fairgrounds.  A jury heard the evidence and agreed with the State of Oregon: Rusty Pugh sexually abused three children.  There is no crime my team and I pursue more aggressively than child sex abuse.  If you plan on committing child sex abuse in Deschutes County, know that you will be up against the most talented, dedicated, and dogged team of child sex abuse deputy district attorneys in the country.”   

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  1. Horribly sad. As a victim of child sex abuse now some 40 years ago I know the hard road ahead for these victims. Praying for God’s blessings on them always.

  2. What’s more sad is Hummel had nothing to do with this case other than firing off a press release sometime yesterday. Likely the first time he’d ever heard the guys name. Hummel has never prosecuted anything that complex. He didn’t drag a podium down to the venue where these victims were abused…for years. He sure can’t get any extra press coverage over a case so terrifying. Hats off to those that did the real work on the case and to the victims who stood up to their abuser.

    1. Speaking in general: Of course, him overseeing the dept. had nothing to do with it, if you like the outcome. Why do so many of us give elected officials way too much credit AND blame, depending on whether we hate or like them? It’s really unfortunate. (DA’s always have a contingent of haters, beyond those they convicted of course. We always think we could do the job better… judge based on partial info, etc.)

    1. Kinda like the multiple homicide over by Pilot Butte. Hummel waited patiently until LE handed him a far better case on a silver platter. Our last DA would have indicted prematurely and only maybe convicted one of the killers.

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