Wednesday, December 2, 2020
Dec. 2, 2020

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Man arrested, charged with rape of woman at Portland bar

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PORTLAND — A man faces rape and other charges after authorities say he attacked a woman at one of Southeast Portland’s most popular bars more than a year ago.

Kyle Robert Tait, 28, was booked Monday into Multnomah County’s downtown jail on suspicion of rape, sodomy and sexual abuse, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.

His arrest and first court appearance come nearly 19 months after the alleged attack on March 31, 2019, at the White Owl Social Club. Police and bar officials said it happened during a dance party celebrating Holi, a renowned Hindu festival held worldwide.

In the following weeks, a parent of the alleged victim placed photos around town and on social media that showed Tait’s picture, leveled sexual assault allegations against him and asked anyone who may have seen him at the White Owl event to call police.

Court records show a Multnomah County grand jury met to review the case in October 2019. It reconvened on Sept. 15 and indicted Tait, court records show.

Lisa Ludwig, an attorney for Tait, said the first grand jury found no criminal wrongdoing by her client and the case was closed. However, the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office decided to reopen the investigation and assign a new prosecutor to the case, Ludwig said.

“Both moves are very unusual,” she said.

The District Attorney’s Office declined to provide additional details. The Portland Police Bureau did not immediately respond to the newspaper’s request for comment.

“Mr. Tait has been ready to fight this case since April 1, 2019,” Ludwig said. “He’s suffered a lot of harassment as a result of these allegations.”

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