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Winchester Bay man gets prison for assault at sea

The woman said Vanderploeg had hurt her on multiple occasions since they left Winchester Bay.

Posted: Jan 16, 2020 3:00 PM
Updated: Jan 16, 2020 3:05 PM

WINCHESTER BAY, Ore. – A Winchester Bay man will serve a year and a half in prison for assaulting his then-girlfriend while they were on a fishing vessel in August 2018.

Brandon Vanderploeg, 39, will also serve two years of supervised release.

Court documents said the U.S. Coast Guard learned of the situation on Aug. 16, 2018, and two members boarded the boat and contacted the man and his girlfriend. The boat was 17 nautical miles off the coast.

The woman said Vanderploeg had hurt her on multiple occasions after they left Winchester Bay. She said he held her down, punched her in the face, head-butted her in the nose and slammed her head on a tool box. She suffered a three-inch cut on her cheek, a fractured nose and multiple bruises.

Vanderploeg had a blood alcohol concentration of .183, the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Oregon District said. The BAC limit for people operating a commercial vessel is .04.

On Sept. 30, 2019, Vanderploeg pleaded guilty to assault within the maritime jurisdiction of the U.S. and operating a commercial vessel under the influence of alcohol.

As part of a plea agreement, the man agreed to pay restitution to the victim in the case.

The U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service investigated and Gavin W. Bruce, the Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon, prosecuted.

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