BEND, OR -- A former anesthesiologist and part time anatomy instructor at Central Oregon Community College was sentenced again, this week, for a sexual assault that occurred eight years ago. Prosecutors believe 45-year-old Thomas Bray met the victim for drinks in downtown Bend, in 2011. They walked to his apartment where he mixed her another drink, which made her feel lightheaded. Authorities say she was assaulted over an extended period of time, leaving her with visible injuries to her jaw, eye, neck, shoulder and upper back.
The 45-year-old was convicted in 2012 of Rape in the First Degree, Sodomy in the First Degree, Strangulation and Assault; he was sentenced to 28 years in prison. Bray appealed, claiming he should’ve been provided information from the victim’s hard drive to aid in his defense. Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel says the state Supreme Court got involved last year. "They said, ‘alright; we’re going to put this conviction on hold, just temporarily, and we’re going to send it back to the judge to look at this one question of the hard drive'." Hummel tells KBND News, "We were litigating that issue and in the midst of that, it just came up, ‘maybe we can resolve the underlying case; maybe we can just take a bigger look at this.’ And, so we had a settlement conference, a full day of discussions that culminated with Mr. Bray accepting responsibility for his acts and agreeing that his convictions that were vacated by the Supreme Court, they could be reinstated."
The deal knocks 13 years off Bray's original sentence, but Hummel says it wouldn't have happened without approval from the victim, "She doesn’t live in Oregon anymore, but we flew her in for this settlement conference. We wanted her to be a part of this; we were not going to agree to anything that she was not comfortable with." He adds, "This is a good result. 15 years is a decent sentence. It’s Measure 11 time; he’s not going to get out early."
Hummel issued a statement Tuesday: “Eight years ago a woman was brutally assaulted in downtown Bend by a wealthy and powerful man. She had the courage to come forward to hold him accountable. I’m sure she never imagined it would take eight years for justice to prevail but unfortunately, the wheels of justice sometimes grind slowly. She impressed everyone she met with her laser like focus on one thing: telling the truth every step of the way to ensure that the defendant never again hurt someone like he hurt her. Yesterday, she achieved her goal. Our community owes her our gratitude.”