Washington County deputy Rian Alden charged for assault
A grand jury indicted Washington County Sheriff's Deputy Rian Alden Thursday, June 25, on two counts of second-degree assault, as well as unlawful use of a weapon and first-degree official misconduct.
Alden was caught on camera, in a video released to the public June 10, assaulting Albert Molina while in custody following his arrest for riding a bicycle while drunk. Molina suffered multiple skull fractures from the assault and suffered permanent brain damage as the result of the attack, according to his attorney.
The Sheriff's Office said Alden turned himself in to the jail Friday morning, and that he was booked and housed in the Columbia County Jail in St. Helens for safety purposes. His bail was set at $250,000.
The incident involving Molina took place in 2018, but Alden wasn't charged until June 5 of this year, after a 2003 email purportedly from Alden surfaced that used racial slurs against Mexicans and other minority groups.
Alden was originally charged with first-degree official misconduct, days after the Sheriff's Office placed him on administrative leave over the offensive email.
The prosecutor presented evidence to a grand jury again Thursday, seeking to add felony charges to the criminal case against Alden.
Molina's assault was the driving force behind a protest march Wednesday, June 17, beginning in front of the Washington County Courthouse in Hillsboro and ending at the foot of the Washington County Law Enforcement Center roughly two blocks away. Molina's mother, Esther Summerville, spoke at the rally.
"We trusted the police, and I respected the police," Summerville said. "But I don't know what the police are capable of anymore. Even before today I wondered if I was going to be safe, because I don't know what to expect for anybody."
Washington County announced earlier this week it reached a legal settlement with Molina for $625,000 and issued a formal apology to him.
"This incident has caused needless injury and trauma to Mr. Molina and his family, and for that we are truly sorry," the county said in a statement provided by spokesperson Philip Bransford.
Second-degree assault carries a maximum sentence of up to 10 years in prison, while unlawful use of a weapon is punishable by up to five years in prison. Both are felonies.
First-degree official misconduct is a misdemeanor that carries a maximum sentence of a year in jail.
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