The trial of a Harrisburg man accused of committing several sex crimes during the 2016 Bi-Mart Willamette Country Music Festival started in Linn County Circuit Court on Tuesday.
Opening arguments on Tuesday presented the 12-member jury with a "he said/she said" case where both the accused and the alleged victim were intoxicated.
The prosecution said that Terry Allen Pepiot, then 56, took advantage of a 20-year-old woman sleeping in the RV he was staying in on the festival grounds.
“He completely unclothes her and does a number of sexual things to her,” said Linn County District Attorney Doug Marteeny. “She was not even capable of consent.”
The woman woke up unclothed and in a panic before leaving almost immediately and notifying authorities of the crime that same night, he added. As detectives interviewed her, the distraught and embarrassed woman struggled to stay awake, Marteeny said.
Defense attorney Sarah Ferguson said the oral sex and other acts inside the trailer were consensual.
“Regret is not sexual assault,” Ferguson said.
The woman was sleeping in Pepiot’s bed and he laid down on top of the covers after failing to get to sleep on a love seat in the RV, Ferguson said.
“She was coming on to him,” Ferguson said. “She engaged in the sexual activity with Mr. Pepiot as much as he engaged with her.”
Pepiot is charged with four counts of first-degree sodomy, six counts of first-degree sexual abuse, two counts of second-degree sexual abuse and two counts of fourth-degree assault, according to Oregon’s online court database. The prosecution has filed a notice of intent to seek an enhanced sentence in the case.
Most of the charges are Measure 11 crimes with mandatory minimum prison sentences of several years in prison.
The RV in the case was owned by Guaranty RV, and Pepiot, an employee, was at the festival for the company.
The trial is scheduled for three days. Jury selection, however, took much of Tuesday, with the opening arguments in the case starting at about 4 p.m.