State welfare officials say they have no plans to follow a judge's order to bail a rape suspect out of jail so he can be reunited with his 13-year-old son.
Russell Hamblen, 50, and another son, Paul Hamblen, 19, were arrested in April on accusations they provided alcohol to teenage girls and forced them to have sex. The son pleaded guilty to multiple sex crimes and was sentenced to five years in prison. The father's trial is scheduled for January.
Clackamas County Judge Deanne Darling recently ordered the state Department of Human Services to bail Hamblen out, so he could plan care for his junior-high age son, who is currently in foster care
The agency asked Darling to reconsider her demand, which Human Services officials called unprecedented and inappropriate.
But Darling didn't back down Thursday, saying the state had not provided credible evidence that Hamblen was an unfit parent. The charges against Hamblen "make no nevermind ... because his rights are still the same," Darling said.
Hamblen is being held on $500,000 bail. He could be freed if he posted 10 percent of that amount, or $50,000.
Although Human Services may face a contempt of court charge, the agency does not intend to post bail and may appeal Darling's ruling to the Oregon Court of Appeals, said Gene Evans, a Human Services spokesman.
"We cannot comply with the order and DHS will not be paying bail for this individual," Evans said in a written statement to The Oregonian newspaper.
Jerry Buzzard, Clackamas County manager for the Human Services department, said the agency doesn't have $50,000 available for Hamblen's bail. Even it did, a Human Services attorney said, the agency would be liable for the remaining $450,000 if Hamblen fled.
Darling, however, said there is no evidence Hamblen is a flight risk.
Hamblen did not speak at the hearing and the boy's mother was not present. She is unable to parent the child due to her substance abuse problems, according to court records.