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OSF actor will face sexual assault charges

A veteran Oregon Shakespeare Festival actor has been charged with several counts of sex abuse and sodomy stemming from an alleged sexual assault that was reported in November, police said.

Tyrone Kenneth Wilson, 54, was arrested Wednesday by Ashland police. He was arraigned Thursday in Jackson County Circuit Court on three counts of first-degree sex abuse and two counts of first-degree sodomy. He pleaded not guilty to all charges and remained Friday in the Jackson County Jail on $1 million bail. A pretrial conference has been set for Feb. 24.

"It was a consensual sexual encounter between Mr. Wilson and an adult female that turned into an unwanted act," said Ashland police Deputy Chief Corey Falls. "That's the extent of what happened. It turned into some deviant acts that resulted in this case."

Falls said the woman no longer lives in the area.

Court records show Wilson has no other felonies in Oregon.

On Friday, Wilson's biography on the Oregon Shakespeare Festival website showed he has been with the organization for 19 seasons. He was to play Egeon in "The Comedy of Errors," set to open Feb. 20, and Abernathy in "The Great Society," set to open July 23.

OSF officials said "Comedy of Errors" will open as scheduled and that the process for finding an interim replacement for Wilson is underway. The role could go to an understudy, but all avenues have to be explored, OSF spokeswoman Amy Richard said.

"Sometimes it's complicated because of scheduling conflicts," Richard said.

Richard declined comment on the alleged incident.

"We're just kind of in a wait-and-see mode until (we have) more information," Richard said.

Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or rpfeil@mailtribune.com.