Darby set for trial, but plea deal in the offing
A Newberg man accused of sexually abusing two young girls over the course of several years will go to trial this week unless a plea deal in the offing comes through.
Andrew Lee Darby, 47, was arrested by officers from the Newberg-Dundee Police Department on June 12 on four counts of first-degree rape, four counts of second-degree sexual abuse and six counts of first-degree sodomy.
He was subsequently charged with second-degree encouraging child sex abuse and using a child in display of sexually explicit conduct.
A district attorney report filed in June in Yamhill County Circuit Court by prosecutor Lisl Miller alleged that over a four-and-a-half- year period Darby had intercourse or oral intercourse with two Newberg girls under the age of 16 without their consent.
Darby appeared via video conference in Yamhill County Circuit Court Judge Ladd Wiles courtroom on Thursday for a trial readiness hearing.
He was represented by McMinnville attorney Rachel Bridges, who had submitted a motion a day prior for a continuance.
"I am not ready for trial," Bridges exclaimed, adding that she was working with prosecutor Kathryn Lynch on a plea deal.
She added that Darby is insistent that he be sentenced and that the case not go to trial in order to spare the victims any more trauma.
Wiles maintained the trial date, which was set to begin Tuesday, while acknowledging that a plea deal could come to fruition and require that the trial be cancelled. He set a tentative date of Jan. 4 to hear a potential plea deal and to sentence Darby.
The first-degree rape and sodomy charges are Measure 11 felony crimes that, if the case reaches trial and Darby is found guilty, require mandatory minimum sentences of 100 months (eight years, four months) on each count.
Second-degree sexual abuse is not a Measure 11 crime. Whether the sentences run consecutively or concurrently is up to the discretion of the judge.
Darby is housed in the Yamhill County jail. Bail was set by Circuit Court Judge John Collins at $500,000 during an arraignment hearing in June.