Pacific University’s vice president of finance and administration was indicted on seven counts of first-degree sex abuse.

Michael Mallery pled not guilty to the counts in a Hillsboro Courtroom on Jan. 22.

The arrest came after an eight-month investigation the department of human services referred to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. In the case, an 11-year-old family member of Mallery’s said he had touched her inappropriately. A similar allegation from another family member was made in 2010 with a minor who is now 15 years old. No charges were filled at that time.

“If you are approached or asked by students, faculty, staff, alumni or the public, I want to encourage you to please limit any responses you wish to make public information, and not to speculate on what might happen,” said University President Lesley Hallick in an email to faculty and staff the morning of Jan. 22.

Mallery was granted a personal leave of absence Jan. 21 from Pacific where he oversaw six departments including facilities, safety management, financial aid, human resources, lease management, legal affairs and university information services. Mallery’s direct reports are reporting to Hallick until further notice.

On Jan. 21 Mallery turned himself into detectives. His bail was originally set at $1.75 million, but was dropped to $500,000. He posted 10 percent of his bail, the required amount to be released, and was under a “conditional release agreement.”

“We are supportive of Mike as he receives his due process in these legal proceedings,” wrote Hallick.

Board Chair Mindy Cameron notified the board of trustees and emeriti trustees regarding Mike’s indictment Jan 21.

In response to his arrest, the faculty senate passed two resolutions: The Faculty Senate of Pacific University expresses its compassion and support for victims of sexual assault and the faculty of Pacific University is committed to maintaining a safe environment for students, employees, visitors and their families on all Pacific University campuses.

In an Feb. 3 email addressed to students along with faculty and staff, Hallick talked more about the affects of this news.

“This news is extremely concerning and I want you to know we take allegations of sexual abuse seriously. We have clear policies concerning sexual misconduct that apply to students and employees,” wrote Hallick. “These address protections for the victims and the accused, as well as guidelines for dealing with confirmed perpetrators. Please know we have a strong commitment to the safety and security of our Pacific University family.”

She continued to encourage students, faculty, staff or anyone affected to seek support.

“I realize this news may personally affect you. Know that university student counseling services are available for students, and the employee assistance program for employees as additional resources for further discussion, as are any of the members of the university leadership.”

Mallery’s trial is set to begin March 4, 2014.

“Please be assured that the university is moving forward with all of the important work that is underway,” wrote Hallick. “This includes new programs, new facilities and so much more. We appreciate your continued focus on our mission and our goals.”

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