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According to documents obtained by the West Linn Tidings and Lake Oswego Review, Darryl Wrisely, now a lieutenant in the LO Police Department, was hired despite allegations
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On Feb. 11, 2008, a former Lake Oswego police officer, after a feud with the city, filed a formal complaint with the state department that oversees police, the Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training. The complaint took aim at Terry Timeus, now chief of police in West Linn, and Darryl Wrisley, a lieutenant in the Lake Oswego Police Department. Instructed by the state to probe the matter, West Linn hired an investigator who found little reason for concern.

This newspaper's investigation of the same complaint, however, found that officials in the Washington County Sheriff's Office determined Wrisley sexually assaulted a woman while on duty as a deputy there in 1992. It also found that Timeus, a long-time friend, helped Wrisley to salvage his career while the law enforcement community buzzed with talk about the incident. The name of the alleged victim is printed with her permission. The following three-part series examines the police community's reaction to the assault and its cavalier culture at the time.

TODAY: Accused of attempted rape, Timeus peer leaps to Lake Oswego

NEXT WEEK: 'Cocaine cowboys' avoid scrutiny

JUNE 4: City investigation 'designed to prevent public disclosure'

At first, Kay Vandagriff said she would go to bed at night and see the scene in front of her eyes: an armed man in her home, grabbing at her body, pushing her onto a bed, unzipping his pants.

Hours later, police would photograph her bruises, she said, including injuries to her mouth caused by biting her lips closed. But it would be years before time would finally push the memory to the back of her thoughts, said Vandagriff, though never far.

'I would try to go to sleep at night, and it was just right there,' she said. 'It's like it happened yesterday, and it's been so many years.'

Vandagriff said she relived the attack from 1992 over and over in therapy, so much that even she stopped being shocked by it. But she knows the story she tells is shocking. Nobody wants to believe that an on-duty police officer could attack a woman in her home.

But what Vandagriff can't believe, she said, is how he got away with it.

A lot has changed since then. Back then, Vandagriff's last name was Williams. And back then, the man she accused of trying to rape her was a sheriff's deputy.

Now, 17 years later, Darryl Wrisley is a lieutenant in the Lake Oswego Police Department, two levels below the chief. And Vandagriff's allegations against him were silenced a long time ago in a deal between Wrisley and the Washington County Sheriff's Office.

Wrisley denied Vandagriff's allegations at the time and still denies them today. A grand jury that heard the case did not press criminal charges following an Oregon State Police investigation of the incident.

Yet documents obtained through a public records lawsuit show that, after its own internal investigation, the sheriff's office concluded that Vandagriff told the truth about being sexually assaulted by Wrisley while he delivered a raffle prize to her home. Moreover, a superior officer said that Wrisley did not tell the truth when trying to explain his visit to Vandagriff's house.

In a summary of the investigation's findings, officials noted:

'We conclude that the following events did occur:

- 'On Dec. 11, 1992 Deputy Wrisley while on duty did drive a county owned vehicle… to the home of Kay Williams.

- 'Deputy Wrisley did not inform his supervisor that he was going to deliver the sweatshirt to Williams and did not ask permission from his supervisor to do so.

- 'Deputy Wrisley, while at the Williams' residence did touch the bare breasts of Kay Williams, and did touch his bare penis to the lips of Kay Williams.

- 'Kay Williams did not invite this sexual activity from Deputy Wrisley, and did resist Wrisley's attempts at sexual contact.'

In spite of those findings and despite the rigorous moral fitness standards required for Oregon police officers, Wrisley continues a career in law enforcement. And though Wrisley was arrested for assault and drunken driving while a Lake Oswego police officer in 2000, he again was able to keep his job.

Documents obtained through this newspaper, as well as interviews with current and former law enforcement officers and officials, show how Wrisley was able to remain a police officer.

He did so not only with help from a police officers' union and laws that make it hard to fire police, but also with assistance from well-connected friends, including Terry Timeus - then a corporal in the Lake Oswego Police Department and now chief of the West Linn Police Department - and Dan Duncan, then a patrol sergeant and now chief of the Lake Oswego Police Department.

Officials in the Lake Oswego Police Department and both Timeus and Duncan were aware of the 1992 allegations against Wrisley when he was hired by Lake Oswego. Timeus and Wrisley were roommates as the allegations unfolded.

Today, both police chiefs stand by Wrisley. They say they have seen no behavior similar to that alleged in 1992. That a grand jury heard the case and did not press criminal charges, combined with the deal struck with the sheriff's office, convinced both to vouch for Wrisley when he applied to Lake Oswego for a job.

Duncan said that Wrisley is currently an asset to the Lake Oswego Police Department.

'I have no concerns that he would engage in any behavior similar to what was alleged,' he said.

The Washington County Sheriff's Office, however, stands by its original findings in its investigation of Wrisley.

Penny Harrington, former chief of the Portland Police Bureau and a founding director of the National Center for Women and Policing in San Diego, said the story echoes a classic and problematic scenario in law enforcement in violent officers continue working, primarily because the officers around them fail to challenge their behavior.

'There is no excuse for keeping a man who is violent on your police force,' said Harrington. 'This guy's got more lives than a cat.'

She said retaining Wrisley on the Lake Oswego Police Department opens the department to liability, invites future problems and sets a bad example for younger officers in the department. Harrington said Wrisley also should not be trusted to handle sensitive cases involving women.

Wrisley has not responded to requests for follow-up interviews since documents from the sheriff's office investigation were released to this newspaper.

'I couldn't get away'

Everyone agrees on a few things. Everyone agrees that on Dec. 10, 1992 both Wrisley and Vandagriff volunteered at a conference of the Oregon Narcotics Enforcement Association. Vandagriff tended bar while Wrisley sold raffle tickets.

It's also agreed that the day after the conference, Wrisley placed a call to Vandagriff and asked for her address while she was at home and babysitting two small children. She had won a sweatshirt in the raffle, he said, and he wanted to deliver it. Vandagriff said she had no qualms about the visit, and immediately phoned Brenda Noble, an evidence technician in the Beaverton Police Department.

According to police reports, the two women were best friends at the time and talked several times a day. They were acquainted partly through Vandagriff's lengthy career as a 9-1-1 dispatch operator, which included five years with the Washington County Consolidated Communications Agency, which handles 9-1-1 calls in the county, some of that time as a manager.

In the phone call, Vandagriff taunted Noble about the winning ticket, according to police reports. She was still on the telephone when Wrisley came to the door.

'I said, 'Well call me when he leaves,'' Noble said, according to a transcribed interview with Oregon State Police Detective Ken Janes.

But the call never came. When Noble called back 20 minutes later, Wrisley was still there, according to Noble's account to police.

'I said, 'What are you doing?' And she goes, 'Oh, just visiting.' And I said, 'Is he still there?' And she said yes. And I said, 'Is he flirting?' And she said yes. And I said, 'Well just tell him to get out and leave you alone.' And she said 'I'll call you later.'…Her tone of voice back to me was, 'Yes, I wish he would leave, but I'm trying to be polite.''

By the time Vandagriff returned Noble's phone call, her demeanor would be radically changed, according to Noble's statements. But what happened in between would be the subject of a four-month investigation by the Oregon State Police.

Vandagriff and Wrisley both said they sat in her kitchen and talked. Nearly every detail of the conversation was reported similarly by each. They said Wrisley asked whether her home had an upstairs crawl space - he had once served a search warrant on a similar home - and Vandagriff showed Wrisley the upstairs of her home and the crawl space located in an upstairs bedroom.

But each would offer differing versions of other events alleged to have occurred in the bedroom.

In her version of the story, Vandagriff told police that Wrisley blocked her exit from the bedroom, then grabbed her by the shoulders and kissed her. She said she pushed him away, but Wrisley tried to unbutton the top of her pants.

In a transcribed interview with Janes, Vandagriff said she told Wrisley, 'I don't think so,' as his advances continued.

She said she walked to a window to check for the school bus and told him she was expecting her children soon, and that he should stop.

She said Wrisley followed her to the window, closed the blinds, and pushed her with his body until she fell back onto the bed. While she tried to remain sitting, Vandagriff said Wrisley climbed on top of her until she fell back onto the bed.

She told Janes, '…he kept trying to push me back and I kept saying my kids are due home, this isn't a good time, this doesn't feel right and he kept persisting and he kept pushing me… after I told him 'no' and he continued, then I got scared because I told him 'no' enough that he should have backed off and he wasn't backing off.'

Vandagriff said Wrisley pulled her shirt up, fondled her breasts and put his mouth on her breasts. She said she repeatedly tried to turn away from him and pulled her shirt down. When she did, she said, Wrisley grabbed one of her hands and forced it onto his crotch. When she removed it, she said he again tried several times to unbutton her pants.

'The next thing I knew he had his pants undone and he was trying to put his penis in my mouth. And that's when I clenched my mouth and I kept turning my head back and forth…by then I was getting scared… cause I couldn't get away.'

Vandagriff said she was able to shove Wrisley off balance by lifting a hip. She said she continued to tell him no and he slowly began to let her off the bed.

Wrisley would later refute Vandagriff's claims, saying he never touched her, 'not even a handshake.'

When he learned that Vandagriff had called the police, he first refused to talk to state detective Janes. Several months later, he spoke to Janes with a lawyer present and said he was shocked at Vandagriff's claims.

'I thought it was a joke,' he said. 'I thought, 'What's going on here?'... I didn't know for quite a while what the allegations were other than the actual legal terms.'

In his version of events, Wrisley described Vandagriff as 'unstable,' said she repeatedly brought up sex while he was in her home and made him uncomfortable by talking about the sexual adventures of police officers they knew.

Wrisley told the detective he thought Vandagriff was making false allegations to get money from the county. She was unemployed at the time, a single mother at home with a 13-year-old son and disabled twins, then 11.

Investigation backs claims

Documents show that on the afternoon of Dec. 11, 1992, Noble first spoke with a Beaverton Police sergeant.

In recounting the details for Janes, the state police detective, she said Vandagriff did return her phone call after Wrisley left her home. When Noble called back a few minutes later, she first asked Vandagriff how the visit went.

'And she said, 'It was really ugly, Brenda, really bad, real ugly.' And I'm going, 'Kay what was ugly? What was wrong?' And she just told me what happened and, you know, I was pretty much shocked… Her voice was shaking when she was telling me that it was, you know, really ugly, and I know Kay inside and out and I knew that there was something wasn't real pleasant.'

'She said, 'I don't know what to do.' She said, 'I just got to forget this,'' said Noble. 'I said, 'Kay, this sounds like attempted rape, I don't think you should just be forgetting it.' She said, 'I don't want to.' She made reference to getting a cop in trouble… and if she said anything that other cops would look down on her.'

After talking with the Beaverton sergeant, Noble convinced Vandagriff to call Wrisley's sergeant, Kevin Henderson, 'just (to) let him know that he is a jerk and you'd better keep an eye on him.'

Henderson initiated the Oregon State Police investigation at 5:20 p.m. that day. Four months later, a grand jury decided not to indict Wrisley on charges of attempted rape, attempted sodomy, sex abuse and official misconduct.

However, the internal investigation by the sheriff's office, - conducted by lieutenants Gary Self and Rob Gordon, now sheriff of Washington County - relied on several key details that may or may not have been available to a grand jury in the closed-door proceedings that determined criminal charges:

The investigation found:

n Wrisley initially refused to answer questions from investigating officers but produced a duty notebook detailing his actions Dec. 11, 1992. The notebook's entries were later compared with a year of Wrisley's duty notebooks and found to be phony.

n Vandagriff agreed to take a polygraph examination about the incident and passed it. However, polygraph examinations are inadmissible in court in Oregon.

n Though Wrisley claimed that he had briefed his sergeant prior to delivering the sweatshirt to Vandagriff's house, the sergeant, Henderson, said Wrisley's story was untrue. He denied knowing that Wrisley went to Vandagriff's house, leading investigators to conclude that Wrisley was absent from duty at the time of the incident.

n During the state police examination, detectives became aware of a similar incident involving a woman who worked for the Washington County District Attorney's Office, who once went on a date with Wrisley.

The woman complained that Wrisley made aggressive sexual advances and that she struggled to get him to stop touching her after she halted consensual petting with him while on a date. Her complaints would not have been admissible in a grand jury because she never called the police.

Cleared, but fired

By the time a grand jury opted not to indict Wrisley on April 15, 1993, he had already been fired from the sheriff's office. But his fight to return to work - spelled out in a typical union contract that called for grievance hearings and arbitration - would drag on for another eight months.

Through two rounds of grievance hearings, then-sheriff Jim Spinden would stick to his decision to fire Wrisley and send pointed letters to Wrisley emphasizing his reasons for the decision.

In one such letter, he noted, 'In light of the need for the complainant to proceed through the difficulty of presenting the complaint subject to efforts to discredit her and with no personal advantage or motive in pursuing the claim, I believe her statements are credible.'

Spinden also wrote to the county administrator about his decision, specifically noting that Wrisley's duty notebooks had 'changed dramatically in style' during the Vandagriff episode.

Washington County's attorney John Junkin, however, eventually offered Wrisley a deal to end his employment: $20,000, a letter of recommendation and a settlement that sealed the investigation.

Wrisley signed the deal Dec. 6, 1993.

Though Spinden would also sign, he privately fumed. Through a memo written by Gordon, the investigator and lieutenant, Spinden had previously documented his complaints about the attorney handling the case and what he perceived as missteps in the process to fire Wrisley. According to the memo, Spinden expected the process 'to hurt us in the future, if not this case, then in another.'

Though Spinden could not be reached for comment for this story, Gordon, stood by the sheriff's office investigation.

'In the 15 years since the investigation, I have not received any information that would change any of the findings in the reports and I stand by any of the written documents in the file,' he said.

Wrisley, when interviewed for this story, said he signed an agreement to seal the file because the sheriff's office wanted him to. He said he agreed to resign only because he got a better offer from Lake Oswego.

'There's no doubt in my mind I would have gone back to work,' said Wrisley. 'With that situation, I didn't want to go back to work there.'

'I quit there to come and work here (in Lake Oswego), that's how it ended,' he said.

Though officers throughout the law enforcement community were talking about the Vandagriff incident, Wrisley's career would be salvaged with help from Timeus, now head of the West Linn Police Department, and Duncan, Lake Oswego's police chief.

Nick Budnick, a former reporter for the Pamplin Media Group, contributed to this story.

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