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Sheriff’s sergeant on leave over a year in sex abuse probe

March 3, 2021 GMT

BEND, Ore. (AP) — A Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office sergeant remains on paid leave more than a year after Redmond Police started investigating him over an alleged sexual assault.

A newly released police report outlines an ongoing criminal investigation into Richard “Deke” DeMars, Oregon’s 2007 Deputy of the Year, The Bulletin reported.

“I believe there is probable cause the crime of sodomy has occurred,” wrote Lt. Aaron Wells of the Redmond Police Department. “(The alleged victim) told friends, went to the extent of seeing a doctor and was clear communicating to DeMars and others she did not want (the sexual contact).”

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The Redmond Police Department began investigating DeMars in 2020 after a woman accused him of sexual abuse and domestic violence. The case has been forwarded to the Oregon Department of Justice with a police recommendation to charge DeMars with a sex crime. The DOJ has yet to make a charging decision, according to spokeswoman Kristina Edmundson.

DeMars, 37, has earned $131,807 since being placed on leave in February 2020. He remains the subject of an internal conduct investigation, in addition to the criminal investigation.

In early 2020, a woman in a romantic relationship with DeMars told Redmond Police his behavior was becoming increasingly frightening to her, according to the report. She’d started recording conversations with him and sending them to friends, scared something might happen to her, according to the police report.

DeMars reportedly told her if she went to police, “no one would believe her because he’s ‘Deke DeMars’ and she is just a drunk,” the report said.

In February 2020, a 911 call led to the exposure of a relationship between DeMars and a female subordinate. That woman, Allie Lamb, had called 911 to report her live-in boyfriend was acting suicidal.

Days later, the sheriff’s office announced that DeMars and another sheriff’s office sergeant, Kevin Dizney, had been placed on paid leave. Dizney was one of Lamb’s supervisors, and lived next door to Lamb. It’s unclear if the 911 call and Dizney being placed on leave are related.

Dizney was disciplined and is back at work. Dizney collected $116,210 while on paid leave. DeMars and Lamb are now married. Lamb remains employed with the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office.