Van Ornum Gets Community Service, Probation and Fees in Taser Case

Taser victim Ian Van Ornum was sentenced today to 80 hours of community service, 18 months of probation and $500 in attorney fees plus court costs.

A jury last week found Van Ornum guilty of the misdemeanor crimes of slowing traffic (disorderly conduct) and resisting arrest at an anti-pesticide protest last May. Many witnesses have accused the police of brutality in the arrest.

Police video in the case shows that Van Ornum was tasered twice in the back while he lay face down on the ground with his arms pinned under his side or held behind his back. Van Ornum’s doctor testified that he suffered a concussion.

Van Ornum’s attorney Laura Fine said an appeal of the verdict will be filed, but declined further comment.

Reviews by the Eugene Police Department internal affairs unit, the independent Eugene police auditor and civillian review board and a likely civil lawsuit remain pending in the incident.

Judge Jack Billings cited incriminating testimony for the prosecution by passers by as significant. He did not mention testimony for the defense from passers by that Van Ornum had done nothing illegal. “The jurors found you were lying,” Billings told Van Ornum.

Van Ornum’s sentence appears stiffer than those in other similar cases. Last year two protesters convicted of the more serious crime of attempted assault of the police officer who tasered Van Ornum were sentenced to 40 hours of community service. This month three UO basketball players convicted of shooting an air gun at ducks in Alton Baker Park were sentenced to 30 hours of community service.

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