M-F man exonerated in sex abuse, rape case

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Randell Ray Kerby of Milton-Freewater is free after a unanimous jury acquitted him of rape and sex abuse. But Oregon Child Protective Services won't allow him to go home just yet.

The state had accused Kerby, 53, of raping a 14-year-old girl on six occasions in Milton-Freewater in the last half of 2010, and of inappropriately touching her during a Christmas concert the same year.

A dozen or so of Kerby's family and supporters waited, quiet and anxious, until Circuit Court Judge Christopher Brauer announced not guilty on all counts -- six of first-degree rape and one of third-degree sexual abuse.

"Thank God," one person shouted. Others cried and hugged. Kerby, though relieved, turned to his family and motioned for them to remain calm.

Defense attorney Will Perkinson focused on undermining the sheriff's investigation. The lead detective, Rhianna Sheridan, lost her job with the Umatilla County Sheriff's Office for being untruthful and sloppy in her work, Perkinson said. And a doctor's examination of the girl showed no signs of sexual intercourse.

After the trial, a tearful Kerby said he hadn't seen his children outside of court since his Jan. 13 arrest. Though free on bail, Kerby said he had stayed away from his family during the case.

The spirit of victory, though, ebbed once the group reached the parking lot outside the county courthouse in Pendleton. Child Protective Services worker Gay Davis told Kerby and his family that he can't be at home with the children because of a third-party allegation he sexually abused them.

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