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A man who had been accused last year of holding onto a developmentally disabled man and forcing him to walk around Corvallis for hours entered a no-contest plea Tuesday to a misdemeanor charge.

Kevan Michael Rower, 56, had been charged with second-degree kidnapping. Prosecutors dismissed that charge in exchange for Rower pleading no contest to interfering with a peace officer. The charge stems from allegations Rower did not comply with police orders to let go of the victim.

Benton County Circuit Court Judge Matthew Donohue sentenced Rower to 60 days in jail with credit for time served. Rower, who was released following the sentencing hearing, had been in jail since Oct. 18. The judge also sentenced Rower to two years of bench probation.

Rower must also continue with mental health treatment he has been undergoing since his arrest, Donohue ordered.

Rower was evaluated by a psychologist after his attorney, John Rich, expressed concerns over his client’s ability to understand the nature of the proceedings against him. A psychologist initially found Rower was mentally unfit to proceed with the case. Following mental health treatment, however, Rower was found competent to proceed.

Rich said his client was suffering from mental illness at the time of the Oct. 18 incident. He said Rower had no ill intent with the victim. He said Rower contacted the victim because Rower lives in South Beach and had wanted help locating the Fred Meyer store in Corvallis.

Rich said his client’s mental health is much better now that he’s receiving treatment.

Deputy District Attorney Andrew Jordan said the victim was scared during the incident and didn’t feel he was free to leave.

Police arrested Rower after a woman called authorities to report she had been approached by two men acting erratically on the sidewalk near Martin Luther King Jr. Park, police have said.

When officers contacted the two men, Rower would not allow police to speak with the victim and was aggressively holding onto him and leading him from officers, according to police.

Officers had to fight with Rower to get him to let go of the victim, police have said.

The victim told police he was alone when he came into contact with Rower on Circle Boulevard, according to police. The men did not previously know one another.

Lillian Schrock covers public safety for the Gazette-Times. She may be reached at 541-758-9548 or Follow her on Twitter at @LillieSchrock. 


Public Safety Reporter

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