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Press Release

Former Olympic Equestrian Sentenced to Federal Prison for Sexually Abusing Minor Student

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Oregon

PORTLAND, Ore.—A former Olympic equestrian who in retirement became a world-class equestrian coach was sentenced to federal prison today for sexually abusing a minor student. 

Richard Rankin Fellers, 63, of Sherwood, Oregon, was sentenced to 50 months in federal prison and five years’ supervised release.

According to court documents, from late 2019 until the summer of 2020, Fellers maintained an intimate sexual relationship with a minor female equestrian student who he had been coaching since the student was 14 years old. The relationship, which began when the student was 16 years old, culminated with a multiday road trip in June 2020 to an equestrian event in Michigan. Investigators later learned Fellers planned the trip so he could engage in sexual conduct with the student.

On May 24, 2023, Fellers was charged by criminal information with one count of traveling across state lines to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor. On July 13, 2023, he pleaded guilty.

Fellers has a pending state criminal case in Washington County Circuit Court where he is facing four counts of second-degree sex abuse for illegal sexual conduct with the same minor student. As part of a global resolution with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Washington County District Attorney’s Office, Fellers’ federal prison sentence will run concurrently with any state prison term imposed when he is sentenced on October 27, 2023, in Washington County.

Fellers was ordered to voluntarily surrender into the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service following sentencing.

This case was investigated by the FBI with assistance from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. It was prosecuted by Gary Y. Sussman and Kelly A. Zusman, Assistant U.S. Attorneys for the District of Oregon.

Anyone who has information about the physical or online abuse of children are encouraged to call the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324) or submit a tip online at

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Justice Department to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

Updated October 12, 2023

Project Safe Childhood