Elections | local | Politics | Portland Mayoral Race

Jefferson Smith Explains Assault Charge

OPB | Oct. 1, 2012 4:14 p.m. | Updated: Oct. 1, 2012 11:19 p.m. | Portland

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Portland mayoral hopeful, Jefferson Smith, explained  Monday how he ended up being charged with misdemeanor assault after a party 19 years ago.

At a press conference Monday, Jefferson Smith explains a misdemeanor assault charge he received while a student at the University of Oregon.

At a press conference Monday, Jefferson Smith explains a misdemeanor assault charge he received while a student at the University of Oregon.

Michael Clapp / OPB

The Willamette Week broke the story of the charge against Smith when he was at the University of Oregon.

Witnesses say a woman was intoxicated and resting on a couch when someone tipped it over. The woman began hitting Smith, thinking he was responsible.

Smith said he tried to push her away and made contact with her. She suffered a cut above her eyebrow, which needed medical attention.

He said it was the worst night of his life. Jefferson was asked if he had any more entanglements with the law.

“I got an MIP when I was in high school. I shoplifted three lollipops when I was either 13 or 14.”

The MIP refers to “minor in possession”, in this case of alcohol.

In a settlement on the assault charge, Smith agreed to 20 hours of community service, apologized to the woman, and paid her medical bills.

He says if the settlement papers can be found, they’ll be released.

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