A husband and wife today filed a $3 million federal civil rights lawsuit against Deschutes County and the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office as well as certain named employees of Deschutes County, according to a news release by Bromley, Newton Attorneys at Law.
The suit alleges that the plaintiffs were threatened with bodily harm, harassed, stalked, arrested under false pretenses, and threatened with arrest for trumped up drug charges; forcing them to abandon their Deschutes County residence and long-standing business.
The lawsuit, filed on behalf of Jesse B. Parrott and Vicky Parrott, allegedly arises out of Mr. Parrott's February 2002 complaint against then-Deputy Sheriff Mike Malloy and former Deschutes County Animal Control Technician Mark Rietmann for engaging in sexual acts with and sexually abusing minors, according to the attorney statement.
In 2005 Malloy pleaded guilty to 50 of 143 sex and drug abuse counts against him, and received a prison sentence of over 17 years. In a 2006 plea agreement, Rietmann avoided jail time by pleading guilty to reduced charges of one felony count of cocaine possession and four misdemeanor counts of sexual harassment.
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The allegations against Deschutes County, the Deschutes County Sheriff in his official capacity, former deputy Mike Malloy in his official and individual capacity, Mark Rietmann in his official and individual capacity, county employee Mendoza in his official capacity, and John Does #1-#10, as outlined in the news release by Bromley, Newton Attorneys appears below in its full entirety:
“Between February 2002 and July of 2005, Malloy and Rietmann engaged in a pattern and practice of violating the Parrotts' civil rights by threatening them with bodily harm, by threatening to frame them and arrest them for possession of drugs, by repeatedly pulling over Plaintiffs while driving in their vehicle, without due process and without proper authority, for the sole purpose of harassing them and otherwise stalking them, by sitting in vehicles out front of their residence, observing them through binoculars and otherwise making their presence known with the intent to cause fear and apprehension in the Parrotts.
In addition, Malloy and Rietmann's conspiracy to commit sexual abuse of minors and to harass the Parrotts continued without any intervention by the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office even after the Parrotts reported Malloy's behavior.
It appears that the Sheriff's office may have covered up the allegations of abuse by destroying evidence and otherwise failing to properly report Mr. Parrott's allegations to the Oregon State Police for investigation.
However, Malloy and Rietmann were eventually arrested, charged and convicted in April 2005. Malloy was convicted of compelling prostitution, sexual abuse, using a child in the display of sexually explicit conduct and drug-related offenses.
The threats by Deputy Sheriff Malloy continued right up until the date of his conviction.
In addition, Deputy Sheriff Malloy was disciplined by the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office between the date of his arrest and the date of his conviction for using official resources to locate victims so that he could either continue to victimize them or harass them into silence.
Mr. and Mrs. Parrott are seeking $2,000,000 in damages for violation of their civil rights, the emotional distress that has been inflicted on them, and to cover the costs of secreting themselves. They feel that it is necessary that they moved from Deschutes County and, most likely, from the State of Oregon giving up their long-standing business and their residence.
They have also sued for $1,000,000 in punitive damages against Deschutes County and the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office, as the Sheriff's Office failed to prevent the behavior of Malloy and Rietmann even after Mr. and Mrs. Parrott reported the harassment.
Other victims of Malloy and Rietmann have already sued the Sheriff's Office and additional lawsuits may follow as information is made available to the public regarding this matter.”