Northeastern Oregon man arrested for sex crimes in Wallowa County

Northeastern Oregon man arrested for sex crimes in Wallowa County

AUGUST 24 – WALLOWA – A Corporate Police officer arrested a man from northeast Oregon on Sunday, August 21, in connection with sex crimes in Wallowa County, according to court records.

John Fine, 54, was arrested after trying to escape an Enterprise officer. Fine was charged with six counts of sexual abuse, six counts of misdemeanor sexual abuse, attempted third-degree sexual abuse, and misdemeanor elopement.

Bail was set at $30,000 by Wallowa County and Union Court Justice Thomas Powers. The fine is scheduled to appear in court for a preliminary probable cause hearing on August 29 and is represented by La Grande’s attorney James Schaeffer.

The Wallowa woman who reported the sexual abuse was not identified in the police report for her privacy and protection. According to the report, the woman is cognitively impaired.

In an interview with police, she said Fine came to her house on Aug. 19 for a guitar lesson. But Fine ended up asking her if she wanted to have children, and she said no.

She said Fine then undressed her and had non-consensual sex with her.

The woman told police she was scared of what he was doing to her and scared to tell him to stop. Fine began to pick her up and carry her to the bedroom, where she resumed sexual contact.

Police organized a medical evaluation for the woman as part of the investigation. The doctor reported that she found evidence of recent sexual activity and the evidence indicated that the sexual contact was not consensual.

On August 21, Enterprise police officer Jacob Curtis went to arrest Fine at a house on the Enterprise. One occupant told Curtis that Fine was inside the house, before another occupant alerted him that Fine had run around the back. Curtis ran through the house, where he saw Fine fleeing through a backyard. The policeman yelled for Fine to stop and that he was under arrest, but Fine kept running. Curtis ran after him and ended up finding Fine hiding beside a bush a few houses down the street. Fine was arrested and presented at Umatilla County Jail.

According to court records, Fine has a long criminal history and was convicted of third-degree rape in 1992. Under Oregon law, this means he had sex with another person under the age of 16. Fine was 23 years old at the time. He was sentenced to 14 months in prison and three years of probation.

On several occasions, he failed to register as a sex offender, which led to over an additional year in prison. His most recent summons was issued in July 2022 and he was scheduled to appear in Wallowa County Circuit Court on August 17 – just days before the Wallowa event.

File was also convicted on several other charges, including second-degree criminal damages, criminal trespass, second-degree assault, and multiple fourth-degree assault charges.

Fine previously lived in Joseph, but a recent citation was sent to him in La Grande.

Isabella Crowley is a reporter for The Observer. Please contact her at 541-624-6014 or icrowley@lagrandeobserver.com.

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