Gresham pastor pleads not guilty in abuse case

Bend Bulletin

By Claire Withycombe / The Bulletin / @kcwithycombe
Published Jan 30, 2015

A Gresham pastor pleaded not guilty Thursday in Deschutes County Circuit Court to 37 criminal charges, including multiple counts of first-degree sexual abuse, first-degree rape and first-degree sodomy, in connection with allegations he sexually abused two children in Sunriver more than a decade ago.

James Daniel Worley, 42, is scheduled to go to trial Sept. 15. The trial is expected to take eight to 10 days.

“This is a complex case involving 37 counts of Measure-11 sex abuse,” said attorney Andrew Coit, who appeared in court on behalf of Worley’s attorney, Richard Cohen. Ballot Measure 11, approved by Oregon voters in 1994, outlines mandatory sentencing minimums for specific crimes.

Worley, who was released from county custody on or about Jan. 23, appeared beside Coit in court Thursday morning.

Deschutes County Circuit Judge Beth Bagley had reduced Worley’s bail Jan. 22 to $250,000 from the $1 million set Jan. 7 by Deschutes County Circuit Judge Walter “Randy” Miller. At a release hearing last week, Cohen indicated Worley’s supporters from his congregation at the Powell Valley Church could raise the 10 percent needed for bail of $250,000 to free Worley, but not any more.

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