Police report says mayoral candidate hit female student in 1993 - KPTV - FOX 12

Police report says mayoral candidate hit female student in 1993

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A police report is shedding a different light on the events involving a Portland mayoral candidate in 1993.

Jefferson Smith was charged with misdemeanor assault against a female student at the University of Oregon in 1993.

After news of the incident surfaced last week, Smith called a press conference and said he pushed the woman away to protect himself.

The police report from that night, however, said Smith struck her with a closed fist.

"What I've tried to do is accept responsibility to the best of my memory, to the best of my ability," he said.

During a live discussion with fellow candidate Charlie Hales on OPB Tuesday, the charges from 1993 were the very first topic.

Smith said he was at a party when a woman sleeping nearby thought he knocked her off the couch. That's when he said he pushed her away.

A Eugene police report said Smith admitted striking her in the face with a closed fist, causing her to get five or six stitches.

When asked by Fox 12 reporter Jamie Wilson why he didn't previously use the word "struck" to describe the contact with the woman, Smith replied, "a lot of people have used a lot of different words."

"But the key thing and the most important words I need to use are that I'm sorry," he said. "I was sorry then and I'm sorry now."

Smith's opponent expressed disappointment about the case Tuesday.

"As a voter, as a citizen, as a dad, you know, these things are very troubling to me," Hales said.

Smith and the woman settled out of court and the charges were dropped. The candidate said he and his family talked about telling voters about this case before it became an issue, but he didn't want to expose the other people involved.

Smith said that he went to the woman's house last week to address the whole thing. The woman's lawyer told Fox 12 that Smith violated the court-issued agreement when he did that.

"I brought somebody else with me, so no one would feel uncomfortable, was my hope," he said. "And just to let folks know that I didn't intend to implicate anybody or use her name unless she wanted me to."

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