Lane County deputy pleads not guilty to rape charges

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — A Lane County sheriff’s deputy accused of raping an 18-year-old woman in Springfield has pleaded not guilty to charges.

The Register-Guard reports that 40-year-old Matthew Hitson was arraigned Monday on a grand jury indictment, which includes two counts of first-degree rape and single counts of unlawful delivery of marijuana to a minor and furnishing alcohol to a person under 21.

Hitson was arrested March 23 and held in the county jail for six days before sheriff’s officials decided to transfer him to the Linn County Jail for security reasons.

Hitson has hired Eugene attorney Bryan Boender to represent him. Boender issued a statement last week in which he cautioned against “rush(ing) to judgment.”

Boender said Monday that he had no further comment on the case.