Michael Richard Tallman did seemingly everything he could to avoid Thursday afternoon in Deschutes County Circuit Court.
Three years after accusations of sexual abuse and two years after he fled Oregon in the family RV, Tallman, a onetime vice principal of Redmond High School and co-founder of the Redmond Proficiency Academy, was sentenced to 17 years in prison for having an inappropriate sexual relationship with a Redmond Proficiency Academy student from 2009-10. It was his third former student he’s been convicted of sexually abusing.
“The recurring theme in this case is simply lack of accountability, every step of the way,” Judge Wells Ashby told Tallman, who legally changed his last name from Bremont in 2017.
Tallman’s attorney, TJ Spear, called the Oregon law that could have given his client a life sentence “disturbing” and suggested Tallman ran because he was afraid.
“It’s unfortunate that Mr. Bremont couldn’t have been sentenced for all this eight years ago, and he didn’t help that at all,” Spear said. “We could have gotten closure at that time. The community could have gotten justice.”
Tallman has been an inmate of the Deschutes County jail since February 2019, when he was arrested by U.S. Marshals in Kentucky.
On Thursday, with five sheriff’s deputies standing guard nearby, Tallman addressed the judge.
“I really just want to apologize to everybody that I’ve hurt throughout the last 12 years. I apologize most especially to (the victims). I know I’ve caused them incredible emotional pain,” he said. “I apologize to all the employees and students at RPA (Redmond Proficiency Academy) that I’ve also hurt through this process.”
Prior to his first arrest in 2012, Tallman was a respected educator.
Tallman’s criminal activity began in 2005, when he was promoted to principal of Central Linn High School in Linn County.
While living in a building on school property, he allowed a female student to move in with his family, in violation of an agreement with the school district. He soon began grooming and sexually abusing the girl, and when district officials started hearing complaints, he coached her to lie, according to court documents.
That initial investigation ended without charges, and Tallman resigned from the school and moved his family to Redmond, where he was soon named vice principal of Redmond High School.Within three years, Tallman moved on to running his own successful charter school. In 2009, he was 39 when the mother of a 15-year-old female student discovered inappropriate text messages between Tallman and the girl.
Despite his attempts to prevent the girl from reporting the abuse, she came forward in 2010 with accusations he sexually abused her and possibly another student who left Redmond Proficiency Academy that year. She then became uncooperative with investigators, who later learned Tallman coached her on what to say.
In 2012, as the Deschutes County District Attorney’s office prepared its first case against Tallman, the victim from Central Linn High School came forward with her own disclosures of abuse. Tallman was convicted that year on cases in Deschutes and Linn counties.
Around this time, he also earned convictions for stealing $50,000 in computer equipment from Redmond High School and leading police on two high-speed pursuits, once in a car with his son and the other, on a motorcycle.
In total, he served 16 months in prison for his crimes.
After his release, he legally changed his last name to Tallman, the last name of his new wife.
In 2017, a woman came forward with accusations Tallman abused her from 2009 to 2010, when she turned 18.
Tallman was arrested and allowed out on $50,000 bond. On Oct. 18, 2018, the date he was scheduled to stand trial, Tallman was a no-show. A tip would lead the U.S. Marshals to his RV in Kentucky.