HILLSBORO, Ore.- On July 12, 2023, Richard Rankin Fellers, age 63, pleaded guilty to two counts of Sexual Abuse in the Second Degree. On October 27, 2023, Judge Ted Sims sentenced the defendant to a total of 30 months in prison. This plea agreement was part of a collaborative deal between Mr. Fellers, Washington County, and federal prosecutors. As part of that deal, Mr. Fellers also pleaded guilty in federal court to charges related to crossing state lines while on the horse show circuit to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor. Per the global plea agreement, Mr. Fellers will serve a total of 50 months in federal detention. Deputy District Attorney Rayney Meisel prosecuted the State charges in this case.

Mr. Fellers is a former Olympian who worked as an elite equestrian coach. The victim was 14 years old when she began training with the Defendant at his facility in Tualatin, Oregon. The victim lived on her own while her family remained in California.

When she was 16, Mr. Fellers told her he loved her and coerced her into a sexual relationship. He abused the victim multiple times in Washington County, Oregon, and in other states while traveling for equestrian competitions. The abuse came to light in the summer of 2020 after a family friend and the defendant’s wife witnessed the abuse firsthand.

“Mr. Fellers has known the victim since she was 11 years old. He was revered and beloved within the equestrian community, and she idolized him. He took advantage of that.” Deputy District Attorney Meisel said while discussing the case in court. “At 14, her family entrusted their child to the safe-keeping and coaching of Mr. Fellers, and the victim entrusted him with her Olympic hopes and dreams. What was taken from her is immeasurable. What she has had to endure from her community and the public in the wake of this exposure is immense. I am in awe of her strength and poise as she navigates this process and advocates for herself and others in similar positions.”

The Washington County District Attorney’s Office wishes to commend the victim for her bravery throughout the legal process. This office also thanks the Tualatin Police Department for its work.

Media contact information
Stephen Mayer
Public Information Officer
July 18, 2023