Former police officer arraigned


CORVALLIS — A former Newport police officer was arraigned Tuesday in Benton County on charges of first-degree sodomy and first-degree sexual abuse.

Bradley Purdom, 40, of Wilsonville, was booked into Benton County Jail on Jan. 29 and released on $50,000 bond. He was convicted in Lincoln County Circuit Court in May 2019 on two misdemeanor counts of sexual assault and sentenced to three years of probation. The former Newport Police Department sergeant was placed on administrative leave in June 2017 and was terminated from the force in April 2018.

The recent charges stem from a sexual assault reported in Corvallis almost 17 years ago. According to an affidavit of probable cause, the victim told police he was asleep at about 4:45 a.m. on March 7, 2004, when he awoke to an unknown male subject assaulting him in his bed. The victim told police he told the man to stop and pushed him away, and the unknown subject got back into the bed and continued the assault. The victim then fled the residence.

He described the suspect as a white male of college age, approximately 6 feet tall with “crew cut” style hair, and another individual in the home at the time gave a similar description, but law enforcement personnel were unable to identify a suspect. The investigation included collection of the victim’s clothing and other sources of DNA evidence. The Oregon State Police Forensic Laboratory identified a mixture of DNA from the victim and another male subject, but there was no match with any known individuals in the database, and the sample was retained.

On April 13, 2020, a Corvallis Police Department detective received a report from the OSP lab, which “indicated during a routine search of the OSP DNA database a match was identified between the male DNA profile previously obtained … and the DNA of Bradley D. Purdom,” according to the probable cause affidavit. A comparison between a swab obtained from Purdom on June 4, 2020 and the 2004 sample was also a match. The OSP report estimated that the probability of a match from a randomly selected individual was one in 4.91 quadrillion.

In the affidavit, the investigator wrote that “Purdom illegally entered a residence and committed other illegal acts, but due to the length of time since these crimes were committed, I believe the statute of limitations has expired for prosecution.”

When questioned, Purdom told investigators he had no memory of ever being at the residence where the crime was reported and did not know the victim. He said he had been living in Corvallis at the time to attend Linn-Benton Community College, according to the affidavit.

The case is next scheduled for a status hearing March 22 in Benton County Circuit Court.

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