By Claire Withycombe

The Bulletin

The executive director of a Bend-based membership organization for health care providers has been arrested by McMinnville Police detectives on suspicion of sexual assault of a dog, first-degree sexual abuse and first-degree sodomy.

John William Ryan, 47, was arrested Monday in Bend and taken to the Yamhill County jail, where he was lodged Tuesday, according to McMinnville Police Capt. Dennis Marks. The alleged crimes occurred in Yamhill County.

Ryan was placed on leave from his position as executive director of the Central Oregon Independent Practice Association on Monday, according to an email Dr. Stephen Mann, the organization’s interim executive director, sent to members this week. The association is made up of more than 600 physicians and providers who pay an annual membership fee in exchange for contract negotiation, insurance discounts and other support.

“Effective Monday, February 23rd, COIPA Executive Director, John Ryan, was placed on administrative leave due to events unrelated to Central Oregon IPA,” Mann wrote. Mann declined to comment further.

Thursday afternoon, Ryan was being held in lieu of $517,000 bail, according to the Yamhill County jail. Police obtained information on Ryan’s alleged offenses while investigating a co-defendant, Casie Lynn Nelson, 29, of McMinnville. Information leading to the arrests was gleaned from an investigation into illegal computer activity, Marks said.

Nelson was arrested Tuesday and is being held in the Yamhill County jail in lieu of $142,500 bail on suspicion of sexual assault of an animal and unlawful use of a weapon, among other charges, according to the jail.

Marks said Thursday the investigation is ongoing and that he could not provide further information on the incident. In addition to the McMinnville Police Department, Bend Police Department and the Oregon Department of Justice are investigating, Marks said.

— Reporter: 541-383-0376,