By Shelby R. King

The Bulletin

A Bend man arrested in February on suspicion of more than two dozen sex abuse crimes appeared Monday in Deschutes County Circuit Court requesting a reduction in his bail amount following Sheriff Larry Blanton’s announcement that the county will no longer enforce ICE holds.

Andrew Mathers, who represents Edel Reyes-Pena, asked Judge Barbara Haslinger to either grant a third-party release to Reyes-Pena’s parents or to reduce the $300,000 bail, saying Reyes-Pena is not a flight risk, even though he is not a U.S. citizen, because his family lives in the Bend area.

Reyes-Pena is charged with one count of first-degree sex abuse, nine counts of third-degree rape, two counts each of harassment and second-degree sex abuse, eight counts of first-degree sodomy, three counts of third-degree sodomy, and four counts each of first-degree sexual penetration and fourth-degree assault.

Mathers argued that he had not asked for a reduction in bail or third-party release until Blanton announced the county would no longer deport non-citizens, because Reyes-Pena does not want to return to Mexico; he wants to stay in the area and take care of the charges, Mathers said.

“He’s lived here for nine years. He worked at McDonald’s for eight years,” Mathers said. “He has no prior arrests. He’s involved in his church.”

Reyes-Pena is accused of having a sexual relationship with the alleged victim when she was as young as 11 years old, but the bulk of the charges involve a two-year period when she would have been 15 or 16 years old. She is now 18.

Deputy District Attorney Brigid Turner revealed many alleged details of a sexual relationship between the defendant and alleged victim that were deviant in nature. She also accused Reyes-Pena of being physically and verbally abusive to the alleged victim to the point where she attempted suicide.

“He would tell her to keep their relationship secret and they would sneak around,” Turner said. “After they broke up she was so torn up and depressed that she threw herself out of her third-story bedroom window. She almost died.”

Mathers said there is no physical evidence to support the alleged victim’s claims, calling it a case of he-said, she-said. He further alleged that jealousy could be a motivation for the allegations because the victim waited to disclose the alleged abuse for two years after the incidents occurred and leveled the allegations around the same time that Reyes-Pena got engaged to another woman.

Haslinger denied Reyes-Pena’s request for conditional release or bail reduction, pointing out that the severity of the charges make Reyes-Pena a flight risk regardless of his ties to the area.

“When you’ve got a number of Class A felonies pending against you, that could make anyone a flight risk, potentially,” she said.

Reyes-Pena’s bail amount remains at $300,000 and he will continue to be lodged at the Deschutes County jail until his trial, scheduled for 9 a.m. on May 13.

— Reporter: 541-383-0376,