Man faces two counts of rape


A Hermiston man now faces two counts of first-degree rape following his arrest Tuesday.

Hermiston police arrested Steven Ray Sather, 33, on suspicion he raped a woman who was unconscious. Hermiston Police Lt. Tim Beinert said late Saturday night, early Sunday morning, Sather and a 21-year-old Pasco woman were at his residence at 673 E. Hurlburt Ave. in Hermiston. The woman knew Sather through some of his female friends, Beinert said.

"They were drinking, she passed out," Beinert said. "She woke up in the early morning hours of the 28th, and he was having sex with her."

Beinert said the victim tried to get Sather to stop, but he held her down and continued.

The woman left as soon as she could get away, Beinert said, and the next day told her story to Hermiston police. Officers investigated her claims and arrested Sather at 6:45 a.m. Tuesday at his home for one count of first-degree rape.

The Umatilla County District Attorney's Office, though, charged him with an additional count of the crime during an arraignment Wednesday afternoon. District Attorney Dean Gushwa explained one count goes to the theory Sather forcibly raped the victim, and the other count deals with raping her while she was unconscious.

Gushwa also said he anticipates a grand jury will hear the case this week.

First-degree rape is a Class A felony in Oregon and falls under Measure 11, the state's voter-approved minimum sentencing law. A conviction for the crime packs a prison sentence of eight years, four months.

Sather remains in the Umatilla County Jail in Pendleton in lieu of a $50,000 bond.

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