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Ex-North Medford principal is in jail

A former North Medford High School principal who had been investigated by the Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission is in the Coos County Jail on charges he beat his wife.

Patrick Royal, 47, was arraigned Monday on two felony counts of second-degree assault, two felony counts of third-degree assault, one misdemeanor count of fourth-degree assault and two misdemeanor counts of violating a restraining order, the Coos County Sheriff's Office said Tuesday.

Investigators allege Royal beat his 40-year-old wife to the point that she was unable to speak and had a deep, 6-inch cut across her forehead, a split-open cheek and multiple bruises and scrapes.

"The victim suffered substantial injuries," said Coquille police Chief Janice Blue.

Royal's wife was taken by ambulance to Coquille Valley Hospital early Aug. 1 and released the next day.

Her daughter called police to report her mother's injuries, and police spent the next four days investigating the incident with the help of an Oregon State Police forensic unit, police said.

Blue said officers found blood splattered on the staircase of the Coquille home where the couple lived. Royal told police that his wife had fallen down the stairs, Blue said.

"The severity of her injuries wasn't consistent with falling down the stairs," Blue said.

Coquille police arrested Royal Thursday and lodged him at the Coos County Jail, where he remains in high security on $257,500 bail. His next court date, a preliminary hearing, is set for Aug. 15.

The former educator abruptly resigned from North Medford in June 2008, just before commencement and only a year after he accepted the position. In July that year, the Medford School District filed a complaint against him with the commission, which licenses all educators in the state. The commission's policy made the nature of the complaint confidential.

After more than a two-year investigation, the commission dismissed the complaint in November 2010. The dismissal means the commission will never release the details of the complaint.

The complaint was given a Priority 6, out of a scale from 1 to 8, with Priority 1 representing the most egregious violation.

Following the complaint, Royal had a tumultuous stint in 2008-09 as principal of Metlakatla High School in Alaska, where he never finished the school year.

Denise Poole, a National Education Association representative in Anchorage, has said complaints were lodged against him at the Alaska Professional Teaching Practices Commission, but the commission never confirmed that. Alaska doesn't disclose whether a complaint has been filed against an educator unless a final order of discipline has been approved.

In May 2010, Royal was offered a principal's job at Hawkins School for kindergarten through eighth grades in the Jefferson School District in Tracy, Calif., but the district's superintendent later rescinded the offer over concerns about Royal's past record in Metlakatla, according to the Tracy Press newspaper.

Before working at North Medford, Royal served as Coquille High School's principal.

Most recently, Royal has lived in Coquille for nearly two years and was unemployed at the time of his arrest, Blue said.

Reach reporter Hannah Guzik at 541-776-4459 or email hguzik@mailtribune.com.