By Tim Eberly
Two months after taking over as Hill County's agricultural cooperative extension agent, Paul McCarthy must return to Oregon to face a grand jury indictment.
McCarthy, 47, was arrested Monday at 10:52 a.m. in Havre on three counts of first-degree rape, two counts of fourth-degree assault, one count of first-degree sodomy and one count of first-degree unlawful penetration.
The charges stem from an incident in Corvallis, Oreg., on the late evening hours of June 2 and early the next morning, said Corvallis police detective David Henslee.
McCarthy began work a month later for the Montana State University Extension Agency in Hill County.
McCarthy is currently being held in the Hill County Detention Center on $250,000 bond, awaiting extradition to Benton County, Ore. His extradition hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. today at the courthouse.
McCarthy was indicted on Aug. 9 in Corvallis, and the warrant for his arrest was issued the next day.
Scott Heiser, the Benton County district attorney, and David Henslee declined to comment on details of the case.
McCarthy has been suspended with pay from MSU, pending the outcome of the case.
"It's an embarrassment to the university, if these charges are true," said Cathy Conover, the director of university relations at MSU-Bozeman. "We had high expectations of what contributions he could make in this role. It was certainly a very unfortunate bit of news."
Before moving to Montana, McCarthy held a post-doctorate research scientist position at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Horticulture Crop Research Laboratory in Corvallis for one year. Prior to that, he was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Idaho in Moscow, also for a year. He received his doctorate in plant pathology from Idaho.
"We did references on him," Conover said. "We feel we did a very thorough job. We got rave reviews from all his references."