Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Partly Cloudy Day 31° Partly Cloudy
News >  Spokane

Man Suspected In Date-Rape Drug Assaults

From Staff And Wire Reports

A Redmond, Ore., man faces kidnapping, rape, sex abuse and assault charges involving women who were given tequila laced with a drug, authorities said Monday.

Richard Orval Coym, 42, so far has been charged with 15 felony counts involving five women, but police believe he raped or abused at least 15 and nearly 80 women have called a hotline set up since his Feb. 14 arrest.

“I think every one of them is a potential victim,” said Sgt. Marv Combs, a detective for the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Department.

Investigators hope to interview all the callers.

Coym, who called himself a free-lance photographer, allegedly frequented a rodeo circuit that took him around the region. Police say they have reports of him being in Pendleton, Monmouth, St. Paul and Eugene.

Investigators believe he met women at bars, rodeos or other events and then offered them a shot of tequila, which he had laced with Rohypnol, the so-called “date-rape drug,” or something similar, knocking them out for up to eight hours.

The powerful tranquilizer, normally used to treat severe sleep disorders, is odorless, colorless and tasteless - and it dissolves easily in a drink. The drug is known on the street as “roofies” and it has been used in other rape cases.

The Deschutes County sheriff’s office has set up a hotline for women who have had suspicious contact with Coym. That number is 1-541-388-6644.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter

Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.