The state of Virginia is seeking to extradite an Oregon State University faculty member for alleged sex crimes said to have occurred there.
Montgomery County Commonwealth’s Attorney Mary Pettitt said officials in her county wants to apprehend Brett Tyler, 66, and bring him back to Virginia to prosecute him for crimes alleged to have occurred between Jan. 1, 2005, and Dec. 31, 2009, in Montgomery County.
Tyler was arrested locally on Thursday, Oct. 7 and lodged in Benton County Jail. He was released on bail Monday.
According to Pettitt, warrants were issued earlier this month after charges were filed against Tyler.
He is charged with two counts of forcible sodomy of a child under 13, two counts of indecent liberties with a child under 15 and one count of aggravated sexual battery of a child under 13.
Pettitt has authorized extradition from Oregon, meaning local Montgomery County law enforcement officers can come and collect Tyler in Oregon to bring him back to Virginia. He can agree to come back to Virginia and face the charges, or oppose a return and let Benton County Circuit Court decide if he will be sent back.
“The only real defense to being sent to Virginia is if he can show that he is not the Brett Merrick Tyler charged in the warrants,” Pettitt said in an email. “In other words, that it’s a different Brett Tyler. He can’t oppose return by saying he’s innocent.”
Benton County Circuit Court documents allege that Tyler fled from justice in Virginia, but Pettitt said she wouldn’t necessarily characterize the situation in just that way because the offenses' dates are from many years ago, and the warrants were only recently issued. To her knowledge, he has not been in Virginia since the issuance of the warrants.
Tyler resigned on Tuesday as the OSU director of Center for Quantitative Life Sciences, effective immediately, according to OSU spokesman Steve Clark.
Tyler also resigned from the university effective Nov. 30. Clark said Tyler will be working remotely until that date, transitioning publication work and research grants to others before the fall term ends. He is not currently working with students.
Maddie Pfeifer covers public safety for Mid-Valley Media. She can be contacted at 541-812-6091 or Madison.Pfeifer@lee.net. Follow her on Twitter via @maddiepfeifer_