stock_deschutes county courthouse

Deschutes County courthouse in Bend. 

When Hillsboro resident Joshua Sprague made his monthly parental visit to Bend in January, Bend Police officers served an arrest warrant citing him with first-degree rape and other felonies.

The charges were dropped in April, and now Sprague, 33, intends to sue the Deschutes County District Attorney’s office for allegedly failing to vet the claims made by his former wife, Sarah Hastings.

Through his attorney on Tuesday, Sprague notified the district attorney’s office of his intent to sue and demanded the office preserve all records from his case.

“We will seek punitive damages for their destruction,” wrote Matthew Mohill, Sprague’s attorney.

Sprague lived for years in Deschutes County, though he’s lived for the past three in Hillsboro, according to court records.

He recently received certification as a physician’s assistant.

Police opened a case after Sprague’s former wife made statements to a mandatory reporter of abuse. He was charged by a grand jury Dec. 31 and arrested on an associated warrant the following week.

He posted $10,000 to bail out of the Deschutes County jail, an amount he had to borrow from friends, according to court records.

Sprague’s indictment lists three counts of second-degree sexual assault, two counts of first-degree rape, two counts of endangering the welfare of a minor and one each of menacing and first-degree unlawful sexual penetration.

As a result, Sprague was forbidden from contacting his child and forced to wear an alcohol ankle monitor, which cost him $400 per month.

In March, Sprague sought court approval to attend an employment interview in Washington, which was granted.

On April 13, the district attorney’s office filed a motion to drop all charges for insufficient evidence.

A call to Hastings was not returned. Sprague’s attorney declined to discuss the case.

Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel called Sprague’s claim meritless.

“Our job is not to prosecute every case we review,” Hummel wrote to The Bulletin. “Our job is to ensure justice is done in every case, and we always reassess the evidence throughout the pendency of cases to ensure we get it right. This is what we did in Mr. Sprague’s case.”

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(1) comment

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The complaint is regarding the charging decision, not what the department did, or did not do, during the pendency.

Our ambitious DA is getting good at public obfuscation though. Good enough for state level politics I think. A shame he's working out here in the sticks.

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