Theodore Holland “Ted” Settlemier has been on court-ordered house arrest since July while he awaits trial in Deschutes County Circuit Court on rape and sexual abuse charges.
But the same court on Monday ruled he must vacate the property for not paying his rent or face forcible removal by sheriff’s deputies.
An emergency hearing was held Wednesday to help determine how to reconcile the two rulings, but it ended without resolution.
“Judge, I don’t have any other alternatives,” defense attorney Todd Grover told Senior Judge A. Michael Adler. The judge told Grover he could return to court as early as the next day with a new plan.
In May, Settlemier’s girlfriend at the time told police he’d attacked her during an argument. Further interviews with the woman yielded multiple counts alleging sexual violence. A grand jury charged Settlemier that month with 11 criminal counts, and he was arrested. A judge ordered several conditions for his release from jail, including house arrest and wearing a GPS ankle monitor.
On July 25, Settlemier paid $35,000 in security and was released from jail. Since then, he’s resided at his home on NW Fresno Avenue. But because he can’t leave the property, Settlemier has been unable to work, according to his lawyer. Settlemier is receiving nutrition assistance from the government and has struggled to pay even the reduced cost of GPS monitoring, Grover wrote in a court document.
Settlemier has also been unable to pay his rent, and his landlord, Paul Schmitz, initiated eviction proceedings. At a hearing Monday a judge ordered Settlemier to vacate the house by midnight Tuesday.
“Of course, Mr. Settlemier cannot vacate his current residence without violating the terms of his security release in this case,” Grover told the court. “We’ve got a practical problem.”
On Tuesday, Grover asked the court to release Settlemier from house arrest so he can work to earn money to pay his rent.
The parties met Wednesday, and Grover proposed two alternate locations for his client to live temporarily — one in Bend and one in Beaverton. The state objected to the Bend location for being too close — 1 mile — from the home of the alleged victim in the case. The other, in Beaverton, would only allow Settlemier to live there if he paid rent, which his lawyer said he’d only be able to do if he’s allowed off GPS monitoring during the day.
The state objected to both locations due to concerns for the alleged victim. In the end, the judge agreed.
“The problem you guys have is neither of these solutions is acceptable to the court,” Adler told the defense.
For the time being, Settlemier remains at the home on Fresno Avenue. “The reality is, Mr. Settlemier is charged with sexual assault and, frankly, we can’t find any other people who are willing to take him in,” Grover told the judge.
Settlemier worked in Oregon for 20 years as a real estate agent and appraiser, though he recently suspended his license.
“He is confident he can renew his license and earn an income in that field if authorized to do so by the court,” Grover wrote in a court document.
Settlemier also owns property near Park City, Utah, which he could potentially sell for income, according to court documents.
In 2014, Settlemier was accused of attempted murder for holding a pillow over a girlfriend’s face and threatening to kill her. He ultimately pleaded no contest to fourth-degree assault, strangulation and coercion and was sentenced to 30 days in jail, three years probation and restitution of $1,747.
While that case was pending, Settlemier successfully lobbied a judge to be allowed off house arrest so he could work as a real estate broker during the day.
A seven-day jury trial in the criminal case is scheduled to begin April 7.
— Reporter: 541-383-0325, firstname.lastname@example.org