A Hammond man is facing jury trials in two separate jurisdictions on opposite sides of the state for allegedly sexually abusing three girls.
In Clatsop County Circuit Court, a trial for Russell Allen Butch Baughman Jr., 42, is scheduled to begin Tuesday. Charged with 12 counts of crimes related to the sexual abuse of a female child, Baughmans trial is expected to last between five and 10 days.
Theyre not the only charges against Baughman. And it wont it be his only trial. In Umatilla County Circuit Court later this summer, Baughman is set to stand trial on 66 counts of sexually abusing two other girls. Baughman maintains his innocence in both jurisdictions.
Baughman was arrested in Clatsop County last month on a secret grand jury indictment from Umatilla County and transported to Eastern Oregon.
A secret indictment is made when a grand jury uses witness testimony as the basis for leveling criminal charges against a person without that persons knowledge. The tactic is used to give law enforcement agencies enough time to execute an arrest warrant against a suspect without that person fleeing.
Baughman was later returned to Clatsop County at the end of June, and he is currently being detained at the Clatsop County Jail.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Dawn Buzzard said the county plans to call around 25 witnesses during the trial. Its a lot of witnesses, she said. Some of the witnesses will come from as far away as Umatilla County.
Baughmans court-appointed attorney Mary Ann Murk said she planned to call between 14 and 15 witnesses.
Some of the witnesses on both sides will be pretty quick, she said, adding that Baughman could be one of them.
Both cases are tied together even if Baughman is forced to go through two separate trials. Prosecutors in Clatsop County are being allowed to introduce what is know as evidence of prior bad acts, which will draw upon the accusations leveled upon Baughman in Umatilla County.
Prosecutors will introduce the evidence to illustrate a pattern of behavior for Baughman. In Clatsop County, Baughman is accused of abusing a girl over the course of three years, from 2008 until 2011.
The trials length which is longer than anticipated is based on the breadth of evidence that will be presented by both sides.
It would be nice to finish this (trial) in one week, Buzzard said, but that may not happen.