Court opens door for retrial in Oregon rape case
BEND, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Supreme Court has vacated the conviction of a Bend man who was sentenced to prison for raping a woman he met on a dating website.
The high court on Thursday agreed with the Oregon Court of Appeals that a district judge should have required the woman to comply with a subpoena and turn over her computer for a private inspection by the court for relevant evidence.
Thomas Bray’s attorney repeatedly sought computer evidence before trial in 2012 after learning the woman told investigators she had gone online to look for information about Bray and the legal definition of rape.
The next step is for a forensic analyst to examine the computer. A judge will review the results and determine whether the fact that Bray did not have the contents of the computer before trial prejudiced him, said John Hummel, the Deschutes County district attorney.
“If the judge determines it did, then Bray will get a new trial,” Hummel told The Bend Bulletin. “If not, then his conviction will be reinstated.”
Bray was sentenced to 25 years in prison for the February 2011 rape of the 23-year-old woman. Bray taught at Central Oregon Community College and was a licensed anesthesiologist.
The woman met Bray on the online dating website match.com and went back to his condominium with him for a glass of wine after their first date.
Over the course of five hours, she told investigators, Bray raped, beat and choked her, causing her at one point to lose consciousness.
Bray, now 44, remains at the Two Rivers Correctional Institution in Umatilla.
Information from: The Bulletin, http://www.bendbulletin.com