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Local builder charged with assault

The Jackson County District Attorney's Office has filed misdemeanor charges against the co-owner of a large Medford construction company after he allegedly assaulted a television producer at a graduation party and caused a fractured vertebrae, a fractured shoulder and a torn rotator cuff.

Louis Frederick Mahar II is scheduled to be arraigned July 26 in Jackson County Circuit Court on one misdemeanor count of fourth-degree assault against NBC Dateline Producer Shane Bishop and two misdemeanor counts of harassment for allegedly touching the breast of Anna Bishop — Shane Bishop's wife — and allegedly subjecting her to offensive physical contact.

Mahar declined to comment on the case. In a previous interview, he denied acting inappropriately toward any women at the party and said he was acting in self-defense against Shane Bishop.

Shane Bishop declined to comment about the charges against Mahar.

Shane Bishop said doctors have diagnosed a fractured vertebrae in his lower back, a fractured shoulder and a fully torn rotator cuff. He said he is scheduled to have surgery on his rotator cuff.

Jackson County District Attorney Beth Heckert said her office considers a range of factors in deciding what charges to bring against a defendant, and whether to charge the person with misdemeanor or felony crimes.

Those factors include whether weapons were used and if the defendant acted recklessly or intentionally, she said.

In deciding to file misdemeanor charges, Heckert said she was not influenced by Mahar's ability to hire a lawyer rather than use a court-appointed public defender for low-income defendants.

"It doesn't matter if it's a retained or appointed attorney. We look at the facts of the case," she said.

After the alleged assault at the June 3 party for graduating nursing students at Agate Ridge Vineyard in Eagle Point, Mahar was arrested and taken to the Jackson County Jail the night of June 7. He was released on his own recognizance in the early-morning hours of June 8.

Because Mahar was not held in jail, he did not have to be arraigned the next day. That gave the DA's Office more time to investigate and do more preparation for the case before filing charges, Heckert said.

According to a probable cause affidavit, Anna Bishop was standing outside at the graduation party when Mahar allegedly grabbed her waist area. She said Mahar asked her where the bathrooms were and she pointed toward outhouses. She said he pulled her toward the outhouses.

Anna Bishop said she told Mahar, "No," but he put his hand on her stomach, then moved it up, going across her breasts while his other hand was still around her waist. Anna Bishop said she pulled out of Mahar's grip and went and told Shane Bishop about the incident, the affidavit said.

Mahar allegedly walked up to the Bishops at the bar area and said they should hang out. Because of what Anna Bishop had just told him, Shane Bishop declined the offer to hang out, the affidavit said.

Anna Bishop said she could sense the tension rising between the two men and stepped between them. Mahar allegedly grabbed her arm and shoved her out of the way, causing bruises, then grabbed Shane Bishop by the shirt collar and yelled at him, the affidavit said.

Shane Bishop reportedly put his hands up by his face and tried to shield himself, but Mahar allegedly shoved him into a corner, took a swing at him and missed. Mahar allegedly continued to shove Shane Bishop, took him to the ground and continued to swing at him.

Two men allegedly intervened to get Mahar off Shane Bishop, the affidavit said.

Shane Bishop went to an emergency room at 2 a.m. the next day, then later sought more medical attention. He was diagnosed with a torn rotator cuff, fractured shoulder and L2 vertebrae and bulged discs, the affidavit said.

A female witness at the party said Mahar came up to Shane Bishop and asked him if he had a problem, then shoved Shane Bishop into the bar, breaking glasses. She was calling the police and Mahar started swinging at Shane Bishop. Two men eventually pulled Mahar off Shane Bishop. Mahar was yelling at Shane Bishop that he was a "dead man," the affidavit said.

A male witness said he heard Mahar yelling aggressively at Shane Bishop and then saw him shove Shane Bishop toward the bar and move in close to him. Shane Bishop shoved Mahar away and Mahar started swinging at Shane Bishop. The two men had gone to the ground and the male witness tried to pull Mahar off Shane Bishop. Another male came to help and they pulled Mahar off Shane Bishop, the affidavit said.

Staff reporter Vickie Aldous can be reached at 541-776-4486 or valdous@mailtribune.com. Follow her at www.twitter.com/VickieAldous.