Psychiatrist pleads guilty to sabotaging trails

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — A psychiatrist pleaded guilty Wednesday and was sentenced to 30 days in jail for planting booby traps that injured Oregon mountain bikers riding down national forest trails outside Ashland.

After pleading guilty to assault and reckless endangering, Dr. Jackson Dempsey apologized to the mountain bikers, his family and the mental health community in Jackson County Circuit Court in Medford. But he did not explain what led him to string nylon cords across the trails, and put nails and small trees in the path.

Besides the 30 days in jail, Judge Lorenzo Mejia ordered Dempsey to stay away from national forest trails for the two years he is on probation.

“That was an important piece” of the plea agreement, said Deputy District Attorney Alisa Ray. “It was a good resolution that met the needs of the cycling community.”

Dempsey has until May 20 to report to jail.

Ray said reports from the investigation indicated Dempsey walked his dog on the trails and did not like the mountain bikers who regularly rode by on downhill runs.

Local mountain bikers were regularly clearing the obstacles, but they would go back up again, Ray said. Three people suffered minor injuries. Among them was an Ashland mountain biking tour leader, who ran into one of the small trees dragged across a trail.

Dempsey was arrested last July after being spotted near some booby traps. He was a psychiatrist for Jackson County when he was arrested, but no longer has that job.

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