Thomas David Cain had sexual contact with an underage girl while on duty as a Seaside police officer, authorities believe.

The details were revealed when a secret seven-page indictment was unsealed by the Clatsop County District Attorney's Office Thursday.

In court, District Attorney Josh Marquis confirmed community rumors that Cain had intended to flee to Colorado.

The indictment alleges that Cain, 36, had sexual contact with a Seaside teenager while she was younger than 18.

It alleges that while serving as a Seaside police officer between May 18, 2004, and Nov. 30, 2005, he had "sexual contact, sexual intercourse and deviate sexual intercourse while on duty," which is listed as first-degree official misconduct, a misdemeanor. He is also charged with third-degree sexual abuse of a minor, also a misdemeanor.

Additionally, the indictment charges him with 22 felony counts of trying to coax a witness - the girl - into giving false testimony.

He also faces nine felony counts of failing to provide child support for his three children for three months this year. Cain and his wife, Tabatha, are getting a divorce.

Felonies of this kind carry a maximum sentence of up to five years in prison and misdemeanor charges draw up to one year in jail. In practice, based on a defendant's record, probation and other punishments are more likely, a legal expert told The Daily Astorian after the hearing.

The Cain indictment followed secret grand jury proceedings earlier this month featuring at least 13 witnesses.

In a brief, early-afternoon hearing before visiting Judge Henry Dickerson, Cain appeared via a TV link from the Clatsop County Jail. The judge appointed Mary Ann Murk as his attorney.

The defendant, dressed in striped jail garb, remained silent throughout the hearing, which took less than 15 minutes.

Murk entered pleas of not guilty on Cain's behalf to all the charges and asked for time to meet with him before proceeding further.

She and Marquis tangled over bail.

In seeking bail, Murk said, "there's a rumor in the community that he was intending to flee the area," but she added that this was not true.

Marquis replied: "The state's contention is more than a rumor," revealing a communication authorities had received from Cain's ex-wife. "Her sister had received a call from Mr. Cain that he was on his way to Colorado. A search warrant was served, and it's very likely that additional charges may be filed against Mr. Cain."

The judge set bail at $37,500 and ordered a status hearing 9 a.m. June 16.

The Cain case now fills a hefty 300-page, three-ring binder that Marquis lugged into court Thursday.

Cain was hired in Seaside in 1992, promoted to corporal, then served as a sergeant before being reduced in rank by Chief Kenneth Almberg for failing to meet standards.

The officer was investigated during the past two years for the relationship which formed part of Thursday's indictment. When Bob Gross replaced Almberg as chief in 2005, he terminated Cain after conducting his own investigation into Cain's "truthfulness."

As the Portland TV crews descended on Seaside to pick up the latest "dirt" on the Thomas David Cain story, Clatsop County District Attorney Josh Marquis was quick to comment on the narrow nature of the investigation.

He commended Seaside Chief Bob Gross, hired last summer to replace Kenneth Almberg, who was allowed to retire in January 2005 after city concerns about his leadership. One of Gross' first jobs was conducting a fresh internal investigation into Cain's behavior. He fired the corporal Nov. 30, after finding enough evidence to doubt his "truthfulness."

Marquis said, "This is almost a two-year investigation by the District Attorney's Office and the Oregon State Police. It spans conduct for four years from 2002 to 2006," he said.

There had been considerable "rumor and buzz" in the community, in part because the girl was a Seaside High School student, he said.

"We have no reason to believe that the misconduct extends beyond Mr. Cain," he said. "We have no reason to believe that anyone in the Seaside Police Department is involved in any way."


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