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Hinkle pre-trial conference set

by: Courtesy photo John Hinkle

A pre-trial phone conference has been rescheduled after former Columbia County Sheriff's Office Deputy John Hinkle was given the opportunity to review requested police reports.

Hinkle had requested a court-appointed attorney but, after being notified that he did not qualify, said he wished to proceed without an attorney to save his family money.

Because of this, Hinkle had not yet reviewed the police reports and the pre-trial conference was postponed.

The phone conference is set for Wednesday afternoon, June 22.

The conference will likely result in either entering a plea from Hinkle or scheduling of a trial date, said Columbia County District Attorney Steve Atchison. He also said there was a possibility Hinkle could file motions pertaining to the case.

Hinkle, 47, is accused of committing acts of sodomy, sexual abuse and incest against a female relative between 1999 and 2006. The relative was a minor at the time of the alleged abuse.

In addition, the Oregon State Police had been investigating Hinkle on allegations he had sexual relations with a Rainier High School student while assigned to the district as a school resources officer.

Atchison said the investigation against the former deputy is ongoing.