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Auel earns jail time for abuse, assaults

by: Cori Bolger, 
Skylar Auel waits in handcuffs as his lawyer, Stephen Houze, left, and Scott Healey, deputy district attorney for Clackamas County, finalize plans after Auel’s sentencing in Clackamas County Circuit Court Friday. Auel, 20, was immediately taken to the  Clackamas County jail to serve his 90-day sentence for sexually abusing a girl at a party last year.

Skylar Auel was sentenced Friday to serve 90 days in the Clackamas County Jail for sexually abusing a teenage girl and assaulting her two male friends at a St. Patrick's Day party held at his Stafford Basin home last year.

Auel, the 20-year-old grandson of internationally renowned novelist Jean Auel, also faces an additional 120 days of home confinement and 60 months of probation for the second-degree sexual abuse charge.

A sentence of 72 months of probation related to both fourth-degree assault charges will be served concurrently.

Dressed in a dark suit, Auel appeared before Judge Ronald Thom in Clackamas County Circuit Court Friday. Auel's father, mother and brother were present for the sentencing but would not comment.

Jean Auel, a former Lake Oswego resident who wrote 'The Clan of the Cave Bear,' did not attend.

Earlier last week, Auel pleaded no contest to the three charges. In exchange, the other charges against him - one count of rape and two counts of furnishing liquor to a minor - were dismissed.

Stephen Houze, a high-powered Portland attorney who also defended Lake Oswegan Cory Sause, represented him.

Originally, Auel, a former Lakeridge High School student, faced a charge of first-degree rape, a Measure 11 crime that carries a minimum penalty of approximately eight years in prison.

But many of the details of that night on March 18, 2006, are unclear due to the teens' excessive drinking and conflicting accounts of what went on at the Auel residence, located in the 22000 block of S.W. Stafford Road.

'There were a lot of issues in this case going both ways,' said Deputy District Attorney Scott Healey. 'We looked at the entire investigation and evidence and tried to resolve it.'

According to a search warrant in the case, the alleged victim told detectives she did not consent to sex with Auel. She said he forced himself on her and raped her in a bedroom in his house after she became drunk and vomited.

Auel claimed she consented to sex and, according to court documents, said afterward, 'Why is she freaking out? I asked her like eight times … she said she wanted it.'

But following the party - which was attended by dozens of local teens - witnesses said the alleged victim admitted to taking her clothes off herself and 'making out' with Auel.

According to Houze, the victim's friends had a heated exchange of words with Auel after they refused to clean up their own vomit. Auel asked the two heavily intoxicated men to feed the farm's pigs instead.

When they returned from the field, Houze said, they found the victim in a bedroom with Auel. They accused him of raping her and she told them she felt 'embarrassed' and 'gross.'

The victim, who was not present at the sentencing, approved Auel's sentence, Healey said. Her parents attended the hearing but did not speak.

'There is no way to clearly explain how this has changed my life,' the victim said in a provided statement. 'I fear for the well-being of anyone who has been violated as I have been by the defendant … I do not hate who he is. It is clear there is a background history of deep family pain … I hope he can move in a positive direction and impact the world for the better.'

Auel, now a student at Portland Community College, did not speak during the sentencing. He was immediately handcuffed and taken to jail after it ended.

As part of his sentence, Auel will be required to register as a sex offender in the state of Oregon and enter and complete treatment for substance abuse and anger management.

He is not allowed to have contact with the three juvenile victims and is subject to thousands of dollars in fines and fees.

'It's obvious that lives have been permanently affected at a time that should be one of joy and growth,' Thom said. 'And here we end up in this sad situation.'

Thom told Auel that just because a female consumes alcohol in excess does not give him an excuse to take advantage of her sexually.

'If you haven't learned that lesson by now, partner, you're in for a world of hurt,' Thom added.

'You were probably a well-respected member of the community before this occurred. This is an opportunity to prove this is not representative of you … and that you're a better person.'

As for the connection between the charges against Auel and the literary legacy of his grandmother - whose best-selling novel chronicles the life of an oppressed Cro-Magnon girl who is repeatedly raped and beaten - Houze says there is none.

'It is gratuitous on the part of the media to make such a linkage that would cause embarrassment to this family,' he said.