Portland police Sgt. Darke Hull has pleaded guilty to two harassment charges, about a year after a woman accused him of groping her at a Washington County bar and pulling her hair while he was off-duty last year, according to court records.
Hull, 47, acknowledged that he wanted to “annoy” the woman with “offensive contact to an intimate part of her body,” according to his plea entered last Friday.
The Washington County District Attorney’s Office agreed to drop a sex abuse charge it originally filed against Hull and to recommend that his sentence be two years of probation, with no jail time. Washington County Circuit Judge Brandon Thompson approved the plea deal.
Washington County deputies responded to a call to a sports bar on Oct. 29, 2022, and a woman told them that a man grabbed her inappropriately and pulled her hair when she was at the bar the previous night, the sheriff’s office said in a statement last year.
After talking to the woman and to witnesses and reviewing security footage, deputies concluded the man had “unwantedly touched the female victim in the groin area and pulled her hair unprovoked,” the sheriff’s office said.
Investigators later identified the man in the video as Hull and learned he worked for Portland police. The Portland Police Bureau put Hull on administrative leave and started an internal investigation, according to a bureau statement at the time.
Hull is still on administrative leave, and the internal affairs investigation continues, police spokesperson Terri Wallo Strauss said in an email.
“As far as Hull’s status with the bureau, we’re in the middle of a disciplinary process and Chief (Bob) Day is evaluating options,” Strauss said, without clarifying whether Hull had been found in violation of a particular policy or directive.
Hull has worked for the Police Bureau 24 years, or just over half his life.
Willamette Week first reported Hull’s guilty plea.
— Fedor Zarkhin
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