A Washington County Sheriff’s Office jail deputy was indicted Friday on charges stemming from a misconduct incident in 2018. The indictment came after allegations surfaced of the deputy using racist language online in the past.  

In March 2018, jail deputy Rian Alden used force against a person in custody during booking, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. The sheriff’s office flagged the incident for review by a supervisor, and also requested an outside agency conduct the investigation.  

The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office and Oregon State Police conducted the investigation into Alden, forwarding findings to the Washington County District Attorney’s Office. At the time, the office said it lacked sufficient evidence to prosecute Alden and did not charge him.  

Last week, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office said it received an email alleging Alden used racial slurs in “online communication” in 2003. The sheriff’s office said it immediately placed Alden on administrative leave and initiated a personnel investigation.  

When the Washington County District Attorney’s office learned of the email, it reopened the criminal case against Alden.

The district attorney’s office Friday presented the case to a grand jury, which returned a misdemeanor charge of official misconduct in the first degree. Further evidence in the case cannot be released until after legal proceedings.

“Given new information available in this case, I understand and support the District Attorney’s decision to present the evidence to a grand jury,” Washington County Sheriff Pat Garrett said in a statement. “I thank the grand jury for their time and respect their decision.”