Suspect pleads not guilty in Wallowa County sex crimes case

·1 min read

Sep. 23—WALLOWA — A La Grande man arrested for sex crimes pleaded not guilty on Tuesday, Sept. 20, in Wallowa County Circuit Court to all charges against him.

John Fine, 54, was charged with six counts of felony sexual abuse, six counts of misdemeanor sexual abuse, third-degree attempted sexual abuse and misdemeanor escape. He has been indicted by a Wallowa County grand jury on all counts.

Enterprise Police arrested Fine on Aug. 21 after he attempted to escape from an officer. He is represented by court appointed counsel — La Grande attorney James Schaeffer.

The Wallowa woman who reported the sex abuse is unnamed in the police report for her pirvacy and protection. According to the report, the woman is cognitively impared. She said Fine used personal details to start a conversation about children and sex before disrobing her and having nonconsensual sex with her.

Wallowa County District Attorney Rebecca Frolander has submitted a motion to protect sexually explicit information, which was granted by Union and Wallowa County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Powers. This prohibits the defendant and his counsel from copying or circulating any any medical records of the Wallowa woman, any video or audio recordings and any information of a sexually explicit nature. The court also ordered that all material provided from the district attorney's office containing this information must be sealed separately in the defense attorney's file at the conclusion of the case.

Fine will be back in court on Oct. 5 for a pretrial conference and his trial is scheduled to begin the following week on Oct. 12.

Isabella Crowley is a reporter for The Observer. Contact her at 541-624-6014 or