Child sex abuse allegations not the first against local university official

Child sex abuse allegations not the first against local university official »Play Video
Michael Mallery appears in Washington County court Wednesday. He pleaded not guilty to seven counts of sex abuse in the first degree.

HILLSBORO, Ore. -  A vice president of finance and administration at Pacific University in Forest Grove is charged with molesting two 11-year-old girls who were related to him, according to law enforcement officials.

Michael David Mallery, 48, pleaded not guilty to seven counts of sex abuse in the first degree in his first appearance in a Washington County courtroom Wednesday afternoon. Mallery is accused of sexually abusing one girl in 2013 and another girl in 2010, according to Washington County Sheriff's Office spokesman Sgt. Vance Stimler.

Mallery turned himself into authorities Tuesday afternoon and he was booked into the Washington County jail after a grand jury indicted him.

In May 2013, detectives at the Washington County Sheriff's Office received a report from the Department of Human Services (DHS) after an 11-year-old family member reported to a teacher that Mallery "touched her inappropriately," Stimler said.

One of the DHS workers was familiar with Mallery and recalled the same allegation was made against Mallery by another family member in 2010, who is now 15-years-old, Stimler said. However, the On Your Side Investigators learned no charges were ever filed for the alleged victim in the 2010 case.

"It's my understanding that DHS did report that but these cases are very complex and there are a lot of factors that go into that," said Stimler.

The Washington County district attorney wouldn't talk about the case Wednesday but the On Your Side Investigators learned from a source close to the 2010 report, that the 2010 case was investigated but didn't have enough evidence to go to a grand jury.

"What I can tell you is, now that the case has been re-looked at by the DA's office, they are deciding to include that (case) in the current prosecution for the allegations of sex abuse against the 11-year-old in 2013," Stimler said.

As for the 2013 case, Stimler said CARES Northwest - a community-based medical program which helps prevent child abuse - helped to interview the girl about the inappropriate touching. Her case was turned over to the Washington County district attorney's office in January 2001 and the DA presented the case to a grand jury.

Pacific University spokesman, Joe Lang, said faculty didn't know about any prior allegations against Mallery. KATU also confirmed the university conducted a criminal background check at the time he was hired. Mallery joined Pacific University in 2010 after four years at Oregon Health & Science University.

The vice president for finance and administration reports to the president; and in the absence of the president and the provost, acts as the university's chief financial officer and chief executive officer, according to Lang.

KATU also did a background check on Mallery but didn't find anything more than traffic tickets.

On Wednesday, the On Your Side Investigators learned Mallery is on unpaid personal leave; however, he does have paid vacation time to use up before his leave becomes unpaid. Lang said the university stands behind Mallery during these legal proceedings and said "while a grand jury indictment is a serious situation, the university doesn't want to rush to judgment."

Mallery was held on a $175,000 bail.

KATU did put in a request to speak with Mallery in jail but did not immediately hear back from jail staff.