The most recent ads for Democrat Rob Brading's House District 49 campaign blast his opponent for reportedly protecting her brother-in-law who was accused of attempting to rape a 17-year-old girl in 1995.

Speaker of the House Karen Minnis, R-Wood Village, denies the claims.

'It's a bold-faced lie,' Minnis said. 'I don't know how else to put it.'

In 1995, Minnis and her husband, John, who was then a member of the Oregon House of Representatives, opened Little John's Pizza Co. in Hillsboro.

According to an affidavit filed with the Washington County Circuit Court, John Minnis hired his brother, Tuck Minnis, to oversee the operation of the business.

A 17-year-old girl who worked at the restaurant later alleged that Tuck Minnis made unwanted sexual advances toward her, and filed suit against Little John's Pizza Co., John Minnis and Tuck Minnis.

Karen Minnis was not named in the lawsuit and no criminal charges were ever filed, she said.

The Brading campaign's most recent fliers state that Tuck Minnis tried to rape the girl, and that 'the owners decided to protect him.'

Brading stands behind the ads.

'We need to put this in some context of Oregon history … in that in light of what happened with Neil Goldschmidt and Bob Packwood and voters not finding out until afterwards, we felt that voters would want to know this,' Brading said.

Court documents substantiate the facts in the advertisements and mailers, Brading said.

Karen Minnis disagrees. She claims she and her husband weren't trying to cover anything up, as they appealed the case to the Oregon Supreme Court to get their insurance company to cover the costs of the lawsuit.

'It's false on its face,' Minnis said. 'There's nothing in this that documentation that is true.'

Brading doesn't see things that way.

'The facts of the matter are (Karen Minnis) was a co-owner of this store - she helped to manage this store after the incident … they are disturbing facts, but the facts are there,' Brading said. The ads also allege that Karen and John Minnis failed to report the incident to the proper authorities.

If they had reported the incident, it would have created a paper trail, Brading said.

However, John Minnis, who was also employed as a detective with the Portland Police Bureau, and was assigned to the Multnomah County Child Abuse Team, verbally reported the incident to his supervisor, Karen Minnis said.

Brading argues that was not the appropriate course of action as the incident occurred in Washington County and should have been reported there, not in Multnomah County where John Minnis worked.

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