La Pine rape suspect pleads not guilty; trail set to begin Oct. 15th

A La Pine Man facing nearly 60 child sex-abuse charges has pleaded not-guilty and will face a jury later this month.

Rusty Allen Pugh, 47, entered the plea on Monday, clearing the way for a trial that’s tentatively scheduled to begin October 15th.

Bend Police say five people so far have accused Pugh of various sex crimes dating back to 2003. Three women say they were abused as girls, the other two are 6 and 16-years-old. He was indicted last month on 59 charges.

Pugh was initially arrested on August 22 on five counts of rape after a two-month long investigation. At the time, police asked others with information regarding suspicious contact with Pugh to call in.  Since that date, detectives received numerous follow up calls for investigation.

Pugh was released from jail with a GPS monitor after posting a $25,000 bail on August 27th. Over the next six days, police say three more victims reported Pugh as a suspect in various sex crimes between 2004 and August of 2019 that weren’t previously reported.

He was re-arrested and jailed after a traffic stop on August 28th.

Police say a 16-year-old Deschutes County girl came forward on Sept. 13th to report Pugh as a suspect in various crimes between 2009 and 2013 that had not yet been reported.

Bend Police Lt. Juli McConkey said two of the victims, Yamhill County women who are now 19 and 22-years-old, were abused in 2004.

“We’re sure there are more victims out there,” McConkey told Central Oregon Daily. “It’s just encouraging them to come forward.”

McConkey said Pugh was “definitely involved in these childrens’ lives.”

“It’s not a stranger and most of these types of offenses are where the suspect or alleged suspect would be in contact with people and groom them and give them access to the children,” she said.

The 59-count indictment includes five counts of first-degree rape, 27 counts of first-degree sex abuse, two counts of unlawful sexual penetration, 17 counts of first-degree sodomy and five counts of second-degree encouraging child sex abuse.





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