Thomas Bray, former Central Oregon Community College instructor, was convicted today on six counts including rape in the first degree, strangulation and sodomy relating to a violent sexual encounter with a woman he met on match.com in February 2011.
Bray, a former anesthesiologist, was found not guilty on five other counts related to a sexual relationship he had with one of his students, also in February 2011.
Neither woman will be identified by the Source to protect their privacy.
Deschutes County Circuit Court Judge Stephen Tiktin delivered his verdict today after a two-week trial that concluded last week. Bray had previously waived his right to a jury trial.
He began his remarks by complimenting both the district attorney’s office and Bray’s defense attorney, Stephen Houze, on their competent efforts.
Tiktin then explained why he found Bray not guilty on charges related to his former student, with whom Bray had a sexual relationship for several weeks in February 2011 while she was enrolled in his anatomy and physiology class at COCC.
The majority of Tiktin’s explanation centered on the lack of evidence to corroborate the claims made by the student. He also cited a number of texts sent by the former student that showed she seemed to be a willing participant in the “non-traditional” and “rough” sex she had with Bray.
In one instance, Bray texted the former student saying “We’re done. Ok?”
She replied “I don’t want to move on. I want you,” Tiktin read aloud to the court. And then later, “Please. I’ll do anything.”
The day after she sent those texts, the former student learned Bray had had sex with the women he met on match.com. The student then told police that Bray had raped her and tried to strangle her.
“Jealousy is a possible motive to fabricate or embellish,” Tiktin told the court in relation to her allegations.
He concluded that the charges against Bray relating to her allegations could not be proved beyond a reasonable doubt and he therefore found Bray not-guilty on five of the 11 charges against him including two counts of rape in the first degree, strangulation and assault in the second degree.
Tiktin then laid out rationale for finding Bray guilty on all six counts relating to the woman he met on match.com. Tiktin said he found the woman credible and complimented her on her observation skills and consistency in recalling events over the past year and a half.
Tiktin said the woman was not discredited by filing a $2 million civil suit against Bray, in part because she did not file the suit until after the Deschutes County Circuit Court delayed in prosecuting Bray. That made the woman believe she would not get justice through criminal proceedings, leading her to file the civil suit, Tiktin said.
He also said her use of marijuana in the days prior to the assault, and her failure to disclose that to a nurse, did not discredit her. Tiktin said it was clear the nurse was asking her specifically if there had been drug use the night of the assault.
Tiktin said it was clear beyond all doubt that on the night of Feb. 26, 2011, Bray repeatedly spit on, slapped, choked and pulled out the hair of the victim. He also called her a whore, subjected her to violent vaginal intercourse, anal intercourse and oral sodomy.
He called the encounter a “sadistic, prolonged, violent sexual assault” and said that, based on her testimony and the evidence of her injuries, there was no chance she had fabricated the incident.
After finding Bray guilty of two counts of rape in the first degree, two counts of sodomy, and separate charges of strangulation and assault, the victim burst into tears and was consoled by women to her left and right.
Bray rocked back in his chair and was soon after escorted from the courtroom by a Deschutes County Sheriff’s deputy.
He will be held without bail until sentencing.