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Man gets 16 years for rape, 4 decades after wife-rape case

Associated Press logo Associated Press 3/18/2017 By ANDREW SELSKY, Associated Press
In this March 16, 2017, photo, John Rideout testifies at the Marion County Courthouse in Salem, Ore. Rideout, who was arrested in July of 2016 on two counts of first-degree rape, was found guilty Thursday of rape and sodomy, the Statesman Journal reported. He gained notoriety in 1978 when he became the first U.S. man to be tried for raping his wife while they were living together. (Molly J. Smith/Statesman Journal via AP) © The Associated Press In this March 16, 2017, photo, John Rideout testifies at the Marion County Courthouse in Salem, Ore. Rideout, who was arrested in July of 2016 on two counts of first-degree rape, was found guilty Thursday of rape and sodomy, the Statesman Journal reported. He gained notoriety in 1978 when he became the first U.S. man to be tried for raping his wife while they were living together. (Molly J. Smith/Statesman Journal via AP)

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon man convicted of raping two women was sentenced to more than 16 years in prison Friday, almost 40 years after he was acquitted of raping his then-wife in a trial that drew national attention.

In this photo taken Thursday, March 16, 2017, defense attorney John Storkel, left, questions a witness as defendant John Rideout, right, listens at the Marion County Courthouse in Salem. Rideout who gained notoriety in 1978 when he became the first U.S. man to be tried for raping his wife while they were living together has been convicted of sexually assaulting two women. Rideout was found guilty Thursday of rape and sodomy, the Statesman Journal reported. (Molly J. Smith./Statesman-Journal via AP) © The Associated Press In this photo taken Thursday, March 16, 2017, defense attorney John Storkel, left, questions a witness as defendant John Rideout, right, listens at the Marion County Courthouse in Salem. Rideout who gained notoriety in 1978 when he became the first U.S. man to be tried for raping his wife while they were living together has been convicted of sexually assaulting two women. Rideout was found guilty Thursday of rape and sodomy, the Statesman Journal reported. (Molly J. Smith./Statesman-Journal via AP)

Judge Tom Hart sentenced John Rideout to two 100-month sentences, to be served consecutively. He was then led out of the courtroom by a sheriff's deputy, his hands cuffed to a chain around his waist. On Thursday, a jury found Rideout guilty of rape and sodomy.

In this March 16, 2017, photo, John Rideout testifies at the Marion County Courthouse in Salem, Ore. Rideout, who was arrested in July of 2016 on two counts of first-degree rape, was found guilty Thursday of rape and sodomy, the Statesman Journal reported. He gained notoriety in 1978 when he became the first U.S. man to be tried for raping his wife while they were living together. (Molly J. Smith/Statesman Journal via AP) © The Associated Press In this March 16, 2017, photo, John Rideout testifies at the Marion County Courthouse in Salem, Ore. Rideout, who was arrested in July of 2016 on two counts of first-degree rape, was found guilty Thursday of rape and sodomy, the Statesman Journal reported. He gained notoriety in 1978 when he became the first U.S. man to be tried for raping his wife while they were living together. (Molly J. Smith/Statesman Journal via AP)

Both victims spoke before sentencing in the Marion County Courthouse, the same one where Rideout stood trial in 1978. That case was made into a TV movie starring Mickey Rourke and Linda Hamilton.

"I am a victim no longer. I am a survivor," one of the women said Friday, adding that she wanted Rideout to face a maximum sentence.

The other victim said she wanted Rideout to "get help" and said she held no malice toward him.

Rideout insisted on his innocence as he stood and addressed the court before sentencing.

"I am not perfect, but I did not do those things," he said. He pointed out that he had been the subject of a TV movie and had appeared on television talk shows, then complimented his two accusers.

"I'm proud of these two ladies," he said, facing them. "They stood up to me."

He thanked Hart for allowing him to speak. Hart said it was his constitutional right.

Then, after Rideout was done, Hart began speaking before pronouncing sentence. Rideout began interjecting when Hart told him to be quiet, saying he was not having a conversation. The judge then sentenced Rideout to 100 months for each conviction, the mandatory minimum required by a ballot measure approved by Oregon voters in 1994.

In 1978, Rideout was tried for allegedly raping his wife at their Salem apartment in front of their 2-year-old daughter. Rideout was unanimously acquitted in that case. The Oregon Legislature had earlier passed a law eliminating marital privilege as a rape defense.

Rideout and his wife briefly reunited after the trial, but she filed for divorce in March 1979. Rideout said he moved to Northern California and returned to Oregon five years ago to find a wife.

The 2017 trial included testimony from Rideout and the two victims: an acquaintance from his church and an ex-girlfriend, the Statesman Journal reported (https://is.gd/kEKylE ).

The church acquaintance testified at the trial that she hired Rideout to fix a piece of furniture and help with yard work. She said she thought he was intoxicated and invited him to sleep on her couch instead of bicycling home in the dark. She said goodnight, took her medication and went to bed.

"The next thing I knew, he was in my bed," she said. "I kept telling him to stop, but he wouldn't."

Rideout maintained the sex was consensual.

The ex-girlfriend testified that Rideout sexually assaulted her three times.

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Follow Andrew Selsky on Twitter at https://twitter.com/andrewselsky

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Information from: Statesman Journal, http://www.statesmanjournal.com

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