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Proud Boy member pleads not guilty to Portland assault

PORTLAND (AP) — A member of the right-wing Proud Boys group has pleaded not guilty to felony third-degree assault and misdemeanor fourth-degree assault in connection with the June attack of a man in Oregon.

Donovon Lyle Flippo of Vancouver, Washington, entered the pleas Wednesday in Multnomah County Circuit Court, the Oregonian/OregonLive reported.

Flippo, 23, was arrested on a warrant Tuesday in Clark County, Washington, a day after Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler complained that law enforcement was basically ignoring violent protests in the city and failing to arrest violent activists.

Proud Boys members have been violent at protests in the past. Protests occur often in Portland and police have at times struggled to contain clashes.

Portland Police Bureau Lt. Tina Jones said Wednesday that the arrest happened outside their jurisdiction and therefore they are unable to comment.

Multnomah County Circuit Judge Karin Immergut ordered Flippo on Wednesday to have no contact with the man who was attacked or the co-defendant, Tusitala "Tiny" Toese, while the case is pending.

Toese, another Proud Boy member, hasn't yet been arrested. He and Flippo appear together in many social media posts and often attend right-wing demonstrations in Portland.

Flippo and Toese were indicted last month after a 35-year-old man said Flippo and another man shouted homophobic slurs at him before punching him in the face.

The man said he was waiting to cross the street at a stoplight June 8 when he saw Toese, Flippo and a third man in a truck. The man said the men in the truck were yelling things about Trump, and shouting, "Build the wall!" He said he motioned at them with his hand or arm, trying to dismiss them. As he crossed the street, he said they yelled homophobic slurs at him so he shouted an expletive back at Toese, calling him by his nickname "Tiny."

When the man got to the other corner, he said he saw Toese and Flippo get out of the truck and rush toward him. The man said he had a minor concussion and went to the hospital, where he received stitches for a split lip.

Flippo said he didn't know the man, according to court records.

Another Vancouver man posted 10 percent of Flippo's $7,500 bail and he was released from custody Tuesday night, court and jail records show.

When asked by a reporter if Flippo had any comment about his arrest and indictment as he left court with three other men, he said, "No, ma'am," and walked away.

Oregon House moves to update LGBTQ language in statute

SALEM (AP) — The Oregon House of Representatives moved on Wednesday to scrub language offensive to LGBTQ residents in a bill that also specifies that sexual orientation is not a physical or mental impairment.

The bill passed the House 58-2 and goes to the Senate.

Rep. Rob Nosse, who is gay, said on the House floor that the state's anti-LGBTQ laws date back to the 1850s when Oregon was a territory, and helped put some people into mental hospitals and the state penitentiary for expressing their love or true gender. The laws were enforced until the 1970s, Nosse said.

"It was taken for granted that being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender meant that you had a mental disorder and unfortunately ... remnants of those sentiments still remain in our legal code, and that's why we have this bill," the Portland Democrat said.

The measure modernizes language referring to transgender people, deleting "transsexualism" and "transvestism" from Oregon's employment anti-discrimination law. The bill clarifies that sexual orientation isn't considered a physical or mental impairment and that a person doesn't have a disability solely due to sexual orientation.

"By removing offensive, outdated terms such as 'transsexualism' and 'transvestism,' and striking the association between transgender people and those with 'sexual behavior disorders,' this bill affirms the dignity of transgender Oregonians," said Nancy Haque, executive director of Basic Rights Oregon, in earlier testimony. The group works to ensure equality for LGBTQ residents.

Two Republicans, Rep. Mike Nearman of Independence, and Rep. Werner Reschke of Klamath Falls, were the only two House lawmakers who voted against the bill. They did not speak about the bill on the House floor. Asked why he voted against the bill, Nearman said in an email that its supporters claim the measure is just changing language. He did not elaborate. Reschke did not respond to requests for comment.

Rep. Karin Power, a Democrat from the Portland suburb of Milwaukie, co-sponsored the measure with Nosse and Rep. Tawna Sanchez, D-Portland.

"To Oregon's transgender community: please know we've voted to remove all relic outdated and offensive terms from state law. Now onto the Senate with @RobNosse," Power tweeted.

The Oregon Trial Lawyers Association said the bill would not erode existing protections for any individuals.

While individual transgender people may receive various diagnoses or health care, those conditions or limitations are distinct from an individual's gender identity, said Cierra Brown, the chair of the LGBT bar association of Oregon, in written testimony supporting the bill.

"This bill draws a line between tangible conditions — which the disability law should protect on equal terms for all Oregonians — and inherent identity," said Brown, whose group is called Ogalla.

Report reveals Oregon rape kit backlog testing success

PORTLAND (AP) — A new report says the elimination of Oregon's backlog of untested rape kits has led to hundreds of new DNA profiles being added to a national database and multiple cases have been prosecuted.

The report from the Manhattan District Attorney's office was released Tuesday.

Oregon was one of 20 states to benefit from a sweeping, $38 million grant program created in 2015 to process thousands of untested rape kits across the country.

KOIN reports the Multnomah County District Attorney's Office and its law enforcement partners around Oregon worked to test 2,913 sexual assault kits under the grant program.

Through that testing, officials were able to enter 882 DNA profiles into the FBI's national CODIS database. More than half of those profiles matched those already in the database.

So far, those DNA matches have led to six convictions across Oregon.

Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill joined Manhattan's district attorney at a news conference Tuesday in New York and later spoke at a panel on legislative reform about how challenging it can be to eliminate untested rape kit backlogs.

He explained that getting funding to prioritize the testing rape kits required many conversations with legislators.

"We're very proud of where we've come from and where we are now," Underhill said.

Oregon was also one of 7 states to eliminate its backlog of untested kits.

Eugene police officer fires at suspect, no injuries

EUGENE (AP) — Two men are in police custody after an incident in Eugene, Oregon, in which shots were fired by a Eugene police officer.

No one was injured.

The Register-Guard reports the incident began around 4 a.m. Wednesday, when a Eugene police officer tried to stop two men. They had a physical confrontation with the officer before one of them took off running. The officer chased after the man on foot.

Meanwhile, a second police officer arrived and saw the second man allegedly stealing the first officer's patrol vehicle.

The second officer fired his gun at the vehicle as it drove away. The stolen patrol vehicle was found a short time later, abandoned.