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No jail time for pro skateboarder in Portland graffiti case due to plea deal

Emile Laurent pleaded guilty to four counts of criminal mischief after causing thousands of dollars in damage.

PORTLAND, Ore. — A professional skateboarder blamed for dozens of graffiti cases across Portland has avoided jail time by cutting a plea deal with Multnomah County prosecutors. 

Emile Laurent, 22, pleaded guilty to one felony count and three misdemeanor counts of criminal mischief, according to court records. In exchange, prosecutors agreed to drop the remaining 21 counts of criminal mischief.

Laurent was sentenced Wednesday to three years of probation, 100 hours of community service and $6,800 in restitution.

Portland Police arrested Laurent in August 2022 for allegedly vandalizing buildings, walls and signs across Portland. Prosecutors said Laurent tagged public and private property with the moniker "TENDO" — thought to be shorthand for Nintendo.

After Laurent's arrest last summer, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler tweeted "We will not allow Portland to be marred by graffiti and vandalism," vowing to hold those responsible for the damage accountable.

Portland has seen a surge in graffiti complaints in recent years. In 2020, the city received 897 reports of graffiti, compared to 2,117 in 2021 and 5,260 in 2022.

"Our office takes cases involving property crime very seriously," wrote Liz Merah, spokesperson for the Multnomah County District Attorney's Office in an email to KGW. "Our approach with Mr. Laurent, who is young with no criminal history, was to prosecute with the intent of holding him accountable and ensuring restitution for victims."

Laurent is a professional skateboarder, who is sponsored and heavily promoted by the apparel firm Polar Skate. He still appears on the Swedish company's website after his arrest and felony conviction.

Laurent was charged with criminal mischief in 2018, although the case was later dropped by Multnomah County prosecutors. According to court records, officers stopped Laurent and another man suspected of spray painting a medical clinic in Northeast Portland. Officers said they found a can of spray paint in Laurent's pocket, and another can in his backpack.

Laurent could not be reached for comment.

Under the terms of his plea deal, Laurent can't have spray paint, spray paint tips or other graffiti related tools during his three years of probation.

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