November 04, 2005

Civic leader accused of sex abuse

The Oregonian

Friday, November 04, 2005

Matt Hennessee, a pastor, civic leader and recently departed chairman of the Portland Development Commission, was accused of sexually abusing an underaged female relative more than a decade ago, according to interviews, documents and law enforcement records.

Prosecutors declined to press charges in 1993 because Hennessee, the teenager and her mother refused to cooperate. But in recent interviews and a signed statement to The Oregonian, the woman, now 29, says Hennessee abused her "several times per week" from age 12 or 13 to 16.

Documents obtained by the newspaper include e-mails Hennessee sent to the woman in 2003 admitting sexual abuse, a police report on the investigation and an attorney case file that documents a settlement in which Hennessee paid for the girl's counseling.

Hennessee left the city's urban renewal agency on July 27 at the end of his three-year term. A former Nike executive, he now leads Quiktrak, a Beaverton technology firm, and serves as pastor at a North Portland church. He came to Oregon in 1988 at the request of future Gov. Ted Kulongoski to oversee the state workers' compensation system.

Posted by kshaw at November 4, 2005 04:59 PM