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Friends fear for woman's safety after attacker mistakenly let go

Friends tell NewsWatch 12 they fear for a White City woman's safety after her assaulter was mistakenly let go after violating probation.

Posted: Dec. 27, 2017 6:33 PM
Updated: Dec. 27, 2017 11:16 PM

WHITE CITY, Ore.-- Officials need your help to find a 64-year-old man they mistakenly let go earlier this month.

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The victim's friends are now scared for her life.

64-year-old John Martin Phelan was found violating the terms of his probation less than a week after he was released from jail.

Deputies say a manhunt is underway to find him.

Sgt. Julie Denny says, "Back in August John Phelan was arrested for assaulting his girlfriend and he was lodged in jail at that time. He remained in jail until his conviction earlier in December."

After serving his sentence Phelan was released December 11 with five years of supervised probation.

Sgt. Julie Denny says, "Once he was released from jail he went back to the deputies residence, and our deputies investigated two cases of a broken window at the victim's residence. The second time our deputies found Mr. Phelan lying in nearby bushes, intoxicated and needed to be transported for injuries."

Deputies took him to the hospital but due to a clerical error did not know the terms of his probation included no contact with the victim.

Friends of the victim say they fear for their friend's safety with Phelan still at large.

Sgt. Julie Denny says, "He violated his probation by going to the victim's house and throwing rocks. The problem is at the time the deputy when to contact him, that information wasn't available in the database, that he wasn't supposed to have contact with the victim, if we had that information once he was released from the hospital we'd be able to take him to jail."

Phelan is known to frequent the White City area, if you see him call dispatch.

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