Victims recount lasting impact at sentencing

 

Last updated 1/16/2024 at 9:32am



Multiple women made statements at the sentencing hearing for Michael Boyle on Tuesday, January 9, recounting the lasting impact on their lives of the acts to which he pleaded guilty via Alford plea last month.

One victim testified in person, while the others had their statements read into the record by a Deputy District Attorney.

“Mike Boyle is a predator and must be held accountable,” one of the victims stated, while another characterized him as “an opportunist and an extreme threat to society.”

Boyle pleaded guilty via Alford plea in Deschutes County Circuit Court on December 4, to one felony count of attempted sex abuse in the first degree, two misdemeanor counts of third-degree sex abuse, and three counts of practicing massage without a license.

In his plea petition, Boyle recognized that the maximum punishment for the crimes he entered pleas to could have been nearly a decade in jail and fines of over $156,000.

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

The acts for which Boyle was sentenced occurred at Hop in the Spa in Sisters — a “beer spa” on Cascade Avenue where Boyle was proprietor.

“I felt weird within the first couple minutes of coming in to Hop in the Spa,” one woman stated. “He had given me an uneasy feeling the whole time.”

The woman, like the others who testified, said that she has endured lasting impacts from the case, which has been ongoing since an initial complaint was filed in July 2021.

“This man has continued to ruin aspects of my life,” she said.

She said that her ability to trust has been damaged — yet she expressed determination to overcome the impacts.

Another testified that, “I’ve avoided any situation that requires being touched.”

One woman said, “I feel relief. Finally, this case is coming to an end. Finally, Mike Boyle is getting what he deserves. Finally, me and other victims can be at peace.”

Boyle made a brief statement, in which he said, “It threw me when this happened.”

He said, “I’m sincerely sorry that any of these girls feel like they do… I’m sincerely sorry for the feelings they’re having, and I’m not going to discount their feelings.”

Judge Wells B. Ashby expressed compassion and admiration for the victims who spoke out at the hearing, noting that he appreciated the statements made through the DA as much as that made in the courtroom.

“I’m very sorry that you have been so severely impacted in this case,” he told one woman.

To the woman who testified in person, Judge Ashby said, “Your words are incredibly powerful. I’ve been doing this a long time. It’s always amazing to see the strength and resilience of people who have been hurt.”

Under the guilty plea and the sentence handed down January 9, Boyle will serve a 30-day jail term, with credit for time served and for “good time,” then 90 days of house arrest with electronic monitoring.

He is to have no contact with any of tthe alleged victims in the case and may not practice massage.

Boyle is required to register as a sex offender, and is prohibited from accessing online dating or pornography sites.

He will be allowed to transfer his probation to California.

Boyle was remanded into custody at the end of the sentencing hearing, and lodged at Deschutes County Jail.

Author Bio

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 www.frontierpartisans.com.

 

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