Patrick Ell, a former member of Holy Cross Parish and University of Portland employee, was arrested on charges stemming from his alleged assault of a U.P. administrator. (Courtesy Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office)
Patrick Ell, a former member of Holy Cross Parish and University of Portland employee, was arrested on charges stemming from his alleged assault of a U.P. administrator. (Courtesy Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office)
Patrick Ell, a former University of Portland employee, was arrested Dec. 13 after allegedly assaulting an administrator of the North Portland school. Police say Ell, 52, was angered over how the school handled his daughter’s sexual assault complaint in 2016.

According to court documents, Matthew Rygg, associate vice president for student development at U.P., came home that Friday night and saw a man lingering near his house. Rygg told police that the man, whom he eventually recognized as Ell, began hitting him with a baseball bat. He said Ell hit him several times, chased him down the street and beat him further when he tried to call the police. Police found Ell later that night in his home watching TV with his family and arrested him.

Rygg, who needed 18 staples in his head, told officials he thought he was being murdered.

Ell has been charged with felony second-degree assault and banned from the U.P. campus.

A former member of Holy Cross Parish in North Portland, Ell is a U.P. alumnus. While employed by the university he engaged students in service and social justice. In 2017, months after the university’s ruling on his daughter’s assault claims, Ell resigned and his daughter transferred to the University of Oregon.

Rygg was hired three years ago to oversee the dorms, health and counseling services, and community service. He also oversees the Title IX procedures, which guided Clara Ell’s case. Title IX is a federal law requiring universities to follow certain procedures regarding sex discrimination and sexual violence.

In the fall of 2016, Clara Ell, then a freshman, said after becoming extremely intoxicated at a party, she returned to her dorm room, where she claims a male classmate she knew raped her. The alleged assailant was determined not responsible through the school’s formal conduct hearing process, which the Ells claimed was faulty by design. When Clara Ell appealed the ruling it was upheld.

U.P. has been making changes to its Title XI policies and procedures following a 2018 report by a committee charged with reviewing the university’s policies and practices regarding sex discrimination and sexual violence.

“It’s hard to process; any person who tells you they’ve been raped, you feel shock, you feel sick,” Patrick Ell told the Sentinel in 2016.

In the years since quitting his job at U.P., Ell had been emailing Rygg and sending him nonthreatening messages over Facebook.

After being released from jail Dec. 14, Ell was arraigned Dec. 16. Another court date is set for Dec. 31.