Bend attorney Jennifer Coughlin and her client, a woman raped by Thomas Bray, are scheduled to appear Wednesday on the NBC-TV “Today” program, according to her office.
On Monday, Coughlin and her client were en route to New York and the network studio, said her law partner Wayne Hawn and Roxy Holm, office manager at the Bend law firm Brothers, Hawn & Coughlin.
“It will be Wednesday morning,” Holm said, referring to Coughlin and the client’s appearance on “Today.” Their appearance originally was set for today.
Rape victim ‘wants to be an advocate’
In an interview with The Oregonian, Coughlin’s client — whom The Bulletin is not identifying — encouraged victims of sexual crimes to report those crimes and to pursue convictions. She also warned victims of sexual assault to know and understand their rights — including privacy rights.
“She wants to be an advocate,” Coughlin said.
Coughlin represented the woman in a civil suit filed against Bray, 38, seeking $1.975 million in damages. The woman intended to drop the suit, Coughlin said days after Bray was sentenced Sept. 28 by Deschutes County Circuit Court Judge Stephen Tiktin to 25 years in prison. The woman felt vindicated by the outcome of Bray’s criminal prosecution and did not wish to go through another trial, Coughlin said at the time.
After a bench trial in July, Tiktin convicted Bray — a former anesthesiologist and one-term anatomy instructor at Central Oregon Community College — of assaulting the woman in his apartment in February 2011.
The woman was held against her will for several hours and raped, choked and beaten, according to testimony at trial.
The crime occurred while the two were on a date that moved from a local restaurant to Bray’s residence. Bray met the woman through the online dating site Match.com.
Stephen Houze, Bray’s defense attorney, sought access to the woman’s computer, emails and Google accounts during the trial. Tiktin initially ordered the woman to provide access to her Google search history but ended up not enforcing the subpoena.
“People want to believe Google searches are private,” Coughlin said.
The court decision about the computer evidence was the first of its kind in Oregon. Coughlin characterizes the decision as a “major violation of constitutional rights.”