News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Boyle takes plea in abuse case

Michael Boyle of Sisters pleaded guilty via Alford plea to multiple criminal counts in Deschutes County Circuit Court on Monday, December 4.

Boyle pleaded guilty to one count of attempted sex abuse in the first degree, two counts of third-degree sex abuse, and three counts of practicing massage without a license.

An Alford plea is a guilty plea in which the defendant acknowledges that there is sufficient evidence that they could convicted at trial, and agrees to accept all the ramifications of a guilty verdict — but maintains innocence of the charges involved.

By pleading guilty via Alford plea, Boyle avoids going to trial in a case that has been ongoing since an initial complaint was filed in July 2021. The incidents to which Boyle pleaded guilty took place at Hop in the Spa in Sisters when Boyle was proprietor. The building that housed Hop in the Spa was demolished and removed from the site on Cascade Avenue last spring.

Judge Wells B. Ashby stated, “This court finds that there is sufficient factual basis… to accept these pleas, and does so.”

The December 4 proceeding was conducted virtually via Webex. Sentencing was set for Thursday, January 4, at 9 a.m. before Judge Ashby.

The District Attorney’s Office requested that Boyle be physically present at the sentencing hearing, indicating that the DA will seek remand into custody at that time.

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Jim Cornelius, Editor in Chief

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Jim Cornelius is editor in chief of The Nugget and author of “Warriors of the Wildlands: True Tales of the Frontier Partisans.” A history buff, he explores frontier history across three centuries and several continents on his podcast, The Frontier Partisans. For more information visit


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