Ore. parole board expands definition of 'victim'

Original administrative rule prevented victims of crimes that weren't prosecuted from speaking at an offender's parole hearing


By Maxine Bernstein
The Oregonian

PORTLAND, Ore. — Three years after Danielle Tudor initially was barred from speaking at serial rapist Richard Gillmore's parole hearing because she wasn't considered a "victim" under the parole board's definition, the definition has changed.

The Oregon Board of Parole and Post-Prison Supervision in 2012 cited an administrative rule that prevented victims of crimes that weren't prosecuted from speaking at an offender's parole hearing.

Danielle Tudor, who has kept a file of legal documents on the Richard Troy Gillmore case, fought in 2012 to be allowed to speak at Gillmore's parole hearing. (Photo The Oregonian)
Danielle Tudor, who has kept a file of legal documents on the Richard Troy Gillmore case, fought in 2012 to be allowed to speak at Gillmore's parole hearing. (Photo The Oregonian)

Gillmore had admitted to sexually assaulting nine women in the late 1970s and early 1980s, but he was convicted only of the December 1986 rape of Tiffany Edens, then 13. The statute of limitations had expired for the crimes against Tudor and another woman, Colleen Kelly.

Tudor was attacked by Gillmore in her Southeast Portland home when she was 17 in 1979, and Kelly was 13 when Gillmore broke into her Southeast Portland home and raped her in October 1980. The two women were allowed to speak at Gillmore's sentencing in 1987, which led the court to classify him as a "dangerous offender."

In the face of a potential lawsuit, the parole board changed its stance in 2012, allowing both women to speak.

Since then, Tudor and Multnomah County Senior Deputy District Attorney Russ Ratto have worked to change the board's definition of a victim.

This summer, the parole board adopted a new administrative rule expanding who is considered a victim:

 "Any person determined by the prosecuting attorney, the court or the Board to have suffered direct financial, psychological, or physical harm as a result of a crime that is the subject of a proceeding conducted by the State Board of Parole and Post-Prison Supervision.''

Further, a victim will include any person who has suffered such harm as a result of "some other crime connected'' to the one before the parole board or "some other crime connected to the sentence for which the offender seeks release.'' The latter might include crimes considered to classify a defendant as a "dangerous offender,'' as was the case in Tudor's sex assault.

"It has taken a long time and a lot of work but we got it done,'' Tudor said. "I am thrilled that no one else will go through what we did in 2012 to be heard at their offender's parole hearing.''

Here's the board's new definition of victim:

(59) "Victim":

(a) Any person determined by the prosecuting attorney, the court or the Board to have suffered direct financial, psychological, or physical harm as a result of a crime that is the subject of a proceeding conducted by the State Board of Parole and Post-Prison Supervision.

(b) Any person determined by the Board to have suffered direct financial, social, psychological, or physical harm as a result of some other crime connected to the crime that is the subject of a proceeding conducted by the State Board of Parole and Post-Prison Supervision. The term "some other crime connected to the crime that is the subject of the proceeding" includes: other crime(s) connected through plea negotiations, or admitted at trial to prove an element of the offense. The Board may request information from the District Attorney of the committing jurisdiction to provide substantiation for such a determination.

(c) Any person determined by the Board to have suffered direct financial, social, psychological, or physical harm as a result of some other crime connected to the sentence for which the offender seeks release that is the subject of a proceeding conducted by the State Board of Parole and Post-Prison Supervision. The term "connected to the sentence for which the offender seeks release" includes other crime(s) which were used as a basis for: a departure sentence, a merged conviction, a concurrent or a consecutive sentence, an upper end grid block sentence, a dangerous offender sentence, a sentence following conviction for murder or aggravated murder. The Board may request information from the District Attorney of the committing jurisdiction to provide substantiation for such a determination.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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