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Court rules against Oregon Republican in defamation lawsuit

March 2, 2018

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Court of Appeals ruled against former state Rep. Matt Wingard in his defamation lawsuit against a group of conservative opponents.

The Wilsonville Republican left the Legislature in 2012 after revelations of a sexual relationship with a legislative aide.

When he tried to return four years later, the Oregon Family Council and other groups sent mailers ahead of the primary election that said Wingard had pressured the 20-year-old woman into having sex with him.

Wingard acknowledged the relationship, but said it was consensual.

The Appeals Court said Wingard failed to show the groups were reckless in using the word “pressured.” Multiple news outlets used it when the woman went public with her story in 2012.

Attorney Thomas Rask told The Oregonian/OregonLive that he and Wingard are weighing whether to appeal to the Oregon Supreme Court.

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