John Rideout sentenced to 16 years in prison for rape, sodomy

John Joseph Rideout turned and addressed the courtroom for 45 minutes, during which he both ridiculed and professed his love for his victims, attacked the media, and adamantly maintained his innocence. After he finished speaking Friday, a Marion County judge sentenced him to 16 years and eight months in prison for sexually assaulting two women.

Rideout, 60, was found guilty of first-degree rape and first-degree sodomy by a Marion County jury on Thursday.

Almost 40 years ago, he stood trial for raping his then-wife, Greta, in front of their 2-year-old daughter in their North Salem apartment.

He was the first man in the United States charged with raping his wife when they were living together. The 1978 jury unanimously acquitted Rideout. The trial was internationally covered and inspired a made-for-television movie starring Mickey Rourke as Rideout and Linda Hamilton as Greta.

"I knew it would happen again," Greta told the Statesman Journal in 2016. "I'm glad (the victims) came forward."

She moved away from Oregon after the 1978 trial. She went to college, started a career and focused on being independent — and teaching her daughter to do the same. If the trial happened today, Greta is certain her ex-husband would've been found guilty. She said she was relieved upon hearing Thursday's verdict.

While addressing the courtroom, Rideout said it was not his first time being in Marion County court.

"I am John Rideout," he said. "I've been on TV. I had the movie made...Yes, I've been in the spotlight."

He said he was involved in large productions and plays when he lived in California, and he recognized the trial for what it was: an act.

"I know a big gigantic play when I see it," Rideout said.

Before he launched into his soliloquy, his two victims, Sheila Moxley and Teresa Hern, spoke to Judge Thomas Hart and the courtroom.

It is the Statesman Journal's policy to not print the names of sexual assault victims, but Moxley and Hern both agreed to be identified.

"As I sit here, looking at you, John Joseph Rideout, I am no longer a victim," Moxley said. "I am a survivor."

Rideout was no longer wearing a suit and tie he donned during trial; he wore green inmate scrubs and shackles. The chains jingled when he jostled around while listening to Moxley's testimony.

Hern said she wanted Rideout to get help so he wouldn't assault another woman. She wanted to create a women's crisis shelter to help others experiencing abuse and assault.

Moxley asked that Rideout be given the maximum punishment possible.

"You are old enough to know right from wrong," she said. "You are an evil man. You are a monster."

During his address, he locked eyes with Hern and Moxley and told them he had wanted them to be his wives. Prosecutor Gillian Fischer objected to his long, sometimes loud, monologue.

"I am going away for a long time," Rideout said. "I deserve at least a half an hour, if not more."

Hart allowed Rideout to continue, stating it was his constitutional right. Rideout jumped from topic to topic, as did his demeanor, ranging from angry shouting to quiet tears. He talked about his reputation as an upstanding citizen in northern California, his serving on juries "fighting against crime and evil" before likening his arrest and incarceration to fascism.

"We do not live in Nazism," he said. "We do not live in... oppression. We live in the land of the free."

He called Hern the love of his life. He said he tried to help his victims, called them liars, then shifted tones.

"I'm proud of these two ladies," he said. "They stood up to me. They beat me in the courtroom."

The jury, Rideout said, did not have the full story. He wasn't perfect, he has made mistakes, but he did not assault the women, he said. He blamed the media for not fully telling his side of the story.

"Donald Trump is right to a degree," he said.

He said his incarceration and conviction were equivalent to a death sentence.

"Considered me murdered," he told the courtroom. "You have murdered me."

After about 45 minutes, Judge Hart told him: "Mr. Rideout, it's time to move on."

Fischer asked for a longer sentence. She said the defendant's "absurd lack of remorse" was offensive to the victims.

Rideout scoffed.

His attorney John Storkel requested counseling and treatment for Rideout. He also asked that any sentence be served concurrently.

First-degree sodomy and first-degree rape are Measure 11 offenses requiring mandatory minimum prison sentences of eight years and four months. With concurrent sentences, Rideout could've been out of prison before his 68th birthday.

When Hart began delivering his sentence, Rideout interrupted the judge. Hart said they were not having a conversation; Rideout's time to talk was over.

He added that Rideout has shown a pattern of crossing boundaries. The facts of the case — two women, unknown to each other, both vulnerable and taken advantage of — were considered fairly by the jury, Hart said.

"This has come full circle, you know," Hart said.

The victims, he said, had put themselves through a lot by pressing charges and going through trial.

Hart sentenced Rideout to eight years and four months for each count, to be served consecutively. Upon his release, he will be required to register as a sex offender.

Rideout shook his head as the judge delivered the sentence. He was escorted out of the courtroom with his head down.

For questions, comments and news tips, email reporter Whitney Woodworth at wmwoodwort@statesmanjournal.com, call 503-399-6884 or follow on Twitter @wmwoodworth

© 2017 KGW-TV


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