Portland man sentenced for hitting nude cyclists, shouting homophobic slurs

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A man has been sentenced to three years in prison for assaulting and yelling homophobic slurs at two cyclists during a naked bike ride in Northwest Portland.

According to the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office, the incident occurred on June 3 as a group of nude bike riders traveled down Northwest 19th Avenue and Flanders Street. This event was separate from the World Naked Bike Ride, which happened in August this year.

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During the June incident, officials said 40-year-old Robert Houchins shouted derogatory language and struck two cyclists across their backs with a three-foot-long metal pipe as they rode past. Neither victim was seriously injured in the incident.

Later that same month, a Multnomah County grand jury indicted Houchins on one count of second-degree assault, one count of second-degree attempted assault, two counts of unlawful use of a weapon, and two counts of first-degree bias crime.

The convicted man accepted a plea agreement that reduced his charges to one count of second-degree attempted assault and another count of first-degree bias crime.

Officials reported that Houchins was sentenced to 36 months in prison on Oct. 24, and is now in custody at the Oregon Department of Corrections.

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In the announcement, the District Attorney’s Office encouraged victims of hate crimes to report them to the Oregon Department of Justice’s non-emergency bias response hotline.

FBI Portland has also pushed more residents to report bias crimes in Oregon, which have doubled over the past years despite being largely underreported.

In 2022, there were 339 bias crimes reported statewide. Race, ethnicity and ancestry were the top bias motivation categories, followed by sexual orientation.

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