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Untested Sexual Assault Kit Project results in 6th conviction - 02/20/20

February 20, 2020

Untested Sexual Assault Kit Project results in 6th conviction

Today, Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill announced that 37-year-old Jesse Moser pleaded guilty to one count of sexual abuse in the second degree and was put on 36 months of formal probation following an investigation conducted by the Portland Police Bureau’s Sex Crimes Unit and the District Attorney’s Untested Sexual Assault Kit Project.

“We are proud the victim in this case came forward to share her story. Mr. Moser’s actions had a significant impact on her and she showed tremendous courage throughout this process,” said Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney Tara Gardner, who prosecuted this case. “This is a presumptive sentence under Oregon law. This case was heavily negotiated and the sentence takes into account Mr. Moser’s lack of criminal history, mitigating information provided by his defense attorney and it is consistent with similarly situated individuals.”

The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office regularly communicated with the victim about this case and the pretrial negotiations. She is in full support of this resolution.

“You violated my trust, robbed me of the truth, and violated my body,” she said during the sentencing hearing, which took place on February 19, 2020. “I took my fire and used it to help other women get the closure I didn’t ever think I’d get.”

As part of his probation, Moser will have to obey all laws, comply with sex offender probation conditions that include having no contact with the victim, receiving treatment and registering as a sex offender. Moser must comply with any computer monitoring request and agree to GPS monitoring if either is determined to be appropriate by his probation officer.

This investigation started in December of 2013 when the Portland Police Bureau received information about a 17 year old female who may have been sexually abused. The Portland Police Bureau’s Sex Crimes Unit assigned a detective to the case and had an open investigation into the circumstances and contacted the victim who confirmed being sexually abused by Moser. At the time, Moser was 31 years old.

The PPB investigation remained open as detectives conducted investigative follow up.

In August of 2014, the victim contacted Oregon State Police in Hood River and provided additional information about her sexual abuse. She told detectives that she met Moser on a social media application. The two communicated online and then eventually met in person and had sexual intercourse multiple times.

After speaking with law enforcement for a second time about the incident, the victim told investigators she did not want any involvement in a criminal investigation.

The Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence kit in this case was tested under the District Attorney’s Untested Sexual Assault Kit Project. In March of 2019, law enforcement, using established trauma-informed protocols, contacted the victim who then indicated she wanted law enforcement to resume an investigation into her sexual assault.

Untested Sexual Assault Kit Project

In 2015, Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill, along with the Portland Police Bureau, Gresham Police Department, Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office and the Oregon State Police Forensic Laboratory collaboratively initiated a project to process thousands of untested Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence (SAFE) kits in Multnomah, Marion and Lane counties.

District Attorney Underhill and others quickly identified funding from the New York County District Attorney’s Office (DANY) and worked collectively with the Portland Police Bureau’s Sex Crimes Unit after the City of Portland received a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance’s (BJA) Sexual Assault Kit Initiative Grant Program.

DANY awarded the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office a total of $1,995,453 in September 2015. Using those funds, a coordinated effort involving local law enforcement and the Oregon State Police was launched to send SAFE kits, dated 2014 or older from Multnomah, Lane and Marion counties, to a private lab in Utah for testing.

Under the DANY grant, nearly 3,000 sexual assault kits from around the state were tested.

In 2018, Oregon became one of the first five states in the country to clear its backlog of Sexual Assault Forensic Examination (SAFE) kits.

In Oregon, Senate Bill 1571, known as "Melissa's Law," was the Oregon Legislature's response to ensuring all sexual assault kits, except for anonymous kits, are sent to the Oregon State Crime Laboratory for timely testing.

The Portland Police Bureau’s Sexual Assault Kit Initiative Workgroup, which was created in 2015, is comprised of victim-centered and trauma-informed members of the Portland Police Bureau and the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office.

Results from the kits continue to be investigated and survivors of sexual assaults are being notified. The Portland Police Bureau’s Sex Crimes Unit encourages those who have had a SAFE kit collected prior to 2015 to contact the oseproject@portlandoregon.gov">roseproject@portlandoregon.gov or 503-823-0125.

Current Multnomah County SAFE kit criminal cases (as of February 19, 2020)

  • State of Oregon vs Jihad Eldeen Moore - 18CR13996 – Convicted October 2018
  • State of Oregon vs Chanh Van Tran - 18CR25167 - Convicted in November 2018
  • State of Oregon vs Curtis Clint Williams - 17CR37474 - Convicted in June 2018
  • State of Oregon vs Steven Guy Tubbs - 17CR08640 - Convicted in August 2018
  • State of Oregon vs Jose Oscar Rosales - 17CR29317 - Convicted in February 2018
  • State of Oregon vs Ricky Alexander Harrison - 18CR59141 - Pending arraignment
  • State of Oregon vs Richard Timothy Ward – 19CR25495 - Pending trial
  • State of Oregon vs Jesse Ryan Moser – 19CR53575 – Convicted in February 2020
  • State of Oregon vs Donnie Michael Willis Jr. – 19CR55777 – Pending trial
  • State of Oregon vs Leslie L. Thornton – 11-11-34868 – Pending trial
  • State of Oregon vs Timothy Nathaniel Hogue - 11-11-34868 – Pending trial
  • State of Oregon vs Frank Domont Hall Jr. – 19CR77675 – Pending trial

#MCDA#


Contact: Brent Weisberg, Communications Director
Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office
Phone: 503.988.6567 | Email: Brent.Weisberg@mcda.us

Attached Media Files: PR-20-47-Jesse_Moser.pdf
Man put on probation for discharging a pellet air rifle from 15th floor apartment (Photo) - 02/20/20

Media: This was intended to be distributed on Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020 at approx. 5:15 p.m. PST. Unfortunately, there appears to have been an error that resulted in the press release not being distributed correctly. As such, we are re-sending this press release with three attachments. If you have difficulty opening any of the attachments, please contact Brent Weisberg at 503.988.6567


February 20, 2020

Man put on probation for discharging a pellet air rifle from 15th floor apartment

Today, Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill announced that 37-year-old Michael Erin Gorman received a probation sentence for shooting a pellet air rifle from his 15th floor apartment.

“From a distance, the pellet air rifle in question looked identical to an actual assault rifle capable of causing serious physical injury or death,” said Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney Eric Palmer, who prosecuted this case. “The seriousness of this situation cannot be understated. What Mr. Gorman did was extremely dangerous. Pointing a pellet air rifle that looks like a real assault rifle from an elevated position on a busy weekend in Portland prompted fears of a potential mass shooter.”

After Gorman pleaded guilty, the court convicted him of one count of unlawfully discharging a firearm, which is a misdemeanor offense, and placed him on 12 months of bench probation. Gorman will need to complete 40 hours of community service. While on probation, Gorman must obey all laws and will be prohibited from being in possession of weapons. The court ordered that the weapon used in this incident be destroyed.

This investigation started on September 14, 2019 when Portland Police responded to an apartment complex located near Northeast 2nd Avenue and East Burnside Street after receiving information that a man, later identified as Gorman, was pointing a gun from the 15th floor and that it appeared he was pointing the gun toward people on the street.

Officers arrived and contacted a witness who said she heard several popping noises coming from above her. She looked up and saw the man with the weapon pointed down toward the street. The woman used her cell phone and took photos for police. Pursuant to Oregon’s public records law, a copy of an image taken by the witness is being included with this press release.

An officer assigned to the Portland Police Bureau described the photo as depicting “a white male, shirtless with a large tattoo on his left shoulder, shouldering a rifle, and pointing over the railing of a balcony."

Fearing a potential active shooter, the Portland Police Bureau deployed a quick reaction team, which includes officers who have received specialized training to ensure community safety in highly volatile situations.

Police quickly located and took Gorman into custody without any further incident and secured the firearm. A photo of the weapon is included with this press release.

The apartment complex where this incident occurred is less than a half mile from the Oregon Convention Center, which was hosting Rose City Comic Con during this incident.

The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office works closely with the City of Portland’s Office of Youth Violence Prevention and attends the bi-weekly Community Peace Collaborative meeting, which is a coalition of law enforcement, service providers and community members who are focused on encouraging people to take a stand against gun violence.

The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office recognizes the Portland Police Bureau and its Central and North precincts that responded to this incident to ensure community safety.

#MCDA#


Contact: Brent Weisberg, Communications Director 
Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office
Phone: 503.988.6567 | Email: Brent.Weisberg@mcda.us 

Jason Stewart pleads guilty for attacking two women in the Pearl District - 02/18/20

February 18, 2020

Jason Stewart pleads guilty for attacking two women in the Pearl District

Today, Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill announced that 37-year-old Jason Stewart changed his plea and admitted that he attacked two women in the Pearl District.

This case was prosecuted by Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney Melissa Marrero.

Stewart pleaded guilty to one count of kidnapping in the second degree, one count of burglary in the first degree and one count of coercion.

According to court documents, Stewart is expected to receive a 120 month prison sentence when he is formally sentenced on May 18, 2020 at 1:30 p.m. in Multnomah County Circuit Court. As part of his sentence, he will have to register as a sex offender.

This investigation started on January 6, 2019 when police received information about an in-progress disturbance in the 1500 block of Northwest 14th Avenue in Portland, Oregon. When police arrived, they contacted an adult female who told them that a stranger, later identified as Stewart, attacked and kissed her as she entered her apartment building after smoking a cigarette.

Stewart then followed the woman inside the apartment building, pulled her from her actual apartment unit and then dragged her down the hallway. According to court documents, while being attacked, the woman screamed for help when another resident stepped out of his apartment with a baseball bat. Stewart ran from the scene, but was located after police arrived.

During the investigation, law enforcement learned that Stewart approached another female and grabbed her face and neck while she entered the same apartment building.

By pleading guilty, Stewart admits that he unlawfully entered or unlawfully remained in the victim’s residence with the intent to commit the crime of sexual abuse therein; that he intentionally and substantially interfered with the victim’s personal liberty by moving her from one place to another; and that he – with the threat of physical violence – compelled and induced the other female victim into engaging in conduct for which she had a legal right to abstain.

No additional information can be released by the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office at this time pending sentencing, pursuant to the Oregon Rules of Professional Conduct.

The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office communicated with both victims about the pretrial negotiations that occurred in this case to ensure they were fully informed.

#MCDA#


Contact: Brent Weisberg, Communications Director 
Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office
Phone: 503.988.6567 | Email: Brent.Weisberg@mcda.us 

Attached Media Files: PR-20-46-Jason_Stewart.pdf
Jury unanimously convicts Tyler Wayne Nees of murdering his father - 02/13/20

February 13, 2020           

Jury unanimously convicts Tyler Wayne Nees of murdering his father

Today, Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill announced that a 12-person jury unanimously convicted 33-year-old Tyler Wayne Nees of one count of murder constituting domestic violence and one count of unlawful use of a weapon for intentionally killing his father, 64-year-old Brian Nees.

Multnomah County Deputy District Attorneys Amanda Nadell and Brad Kalbaugh prosecuted this case.

The Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office determined Brian Nees’ heart was punctured by the weapon used to stab him. 

This investigation started on December 2, 2017 when the Portland Bureau of Emergency Communications received a 9-1-1 call from a person in the 6000 block of Southeast Woodstock Boulevard in Portland, Oregon.

After being stabbed in the back, Brian Nees ran from the residence looking for help. He ended up at the Mt. Scott Pub, located approximately one block away.

The manager of the bar told police that he was in the process of closing for the evening when a person, later identified as Brian Nees started pounding on the door asking for help. When the manager opened the door, he found Brian Nees injured from a stab wound.

Brian Nees told both the 9-1-1 caller and a Portland Police officer that his son, Tyler, was the person who stabbed him and also provided law enforcement with the location of where the stabbing occurred. He died in surgery several hours later.

During the investigation, law enforcement learned that Tyler Nees fled the area after stabbing his father in the 7200 block of Southwest Woodstock Boulevard.

Police went to the residence where they located a large bloodied butcher’s knife on the floor inside the apartment.

Nees was located on December 14, 2017 in the 900 block of Northwest 23rd Avenue in Portland and taken into custody.

Sentencing in this matter is scheduled for March 17, 2020 at 9 a.m.

 

#MCDA#


 

Attached Media Files: PR-20-45-Tyler_Wayne_Nees.pdf
Barry Sanders receives a 20 month prison sentence, along with five years of formal probation for repeatedly stealing from retail stores - 02/13/20

February 13, 2020

Barry Sanders receives a 20 month prison sentence, along with five years of formal probation for repeatedly stealing from retail stores

Today, Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill announced that 58-year-old Barry Sanders – who admitted he has been arrested more than 100 times – received a 20 month prison sentence, which will include five years of formal probation.

“Mr. Sanders is a professional thief with theft convictions over four different decades. This pretrial resolution is two-fold: It ensures Mr. Sanders is held accountable for his repeated thefts that have plagued the retail industry. It also ensures that once he is released, there will be a network ready to support him with intensive services and treatment so that we can hopefully end his historic pattern of committing crime in our community,” said Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney Kevin Demer, who prosecuted this case.

After changing his plea to guilty, the court convicted Sanders of two counts of theft in the first degree, and three counts of theft in the second degree.

During Sanders’ five year probation period, he will be prohibited from entering, for any purpose, any Target, Safeway, Fred Meyer, Home Depot or WinCo store. If he does, or if he commits any new crime, Sanders agreed to an additional 26 months of prison being imposed by the court. 

To encourage the court to give Sanders a lesser sentence in this case, and to prove that he will no longer engage in criminal activity, Sanders filed a two page document with the court and admitted and/or agreed to:

  • That he will take advantage of programs presented and available to him;
  • That he has stolen merchandise from stores throughout Portland more than a thousand times but he was caught less than 10% of the time because he is “a talent, professional thief;”
  • That his criminal record supports the fact that he has had “persistent involvement” in the criminal justice system.

Like in all criminal and civil matters, electronic copies of court documents, which are not subject to a protective order, are available to the public through the Oregon eCourt Information (OECI) system.

This case was prosecuted by the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office Strategic Prosecution and Services Unit, which reviews cases that stem from neighborhood-specific concerns. The unit is primarily responsible for interfacing with the community over specific issues, and handles all types of cases across the criminal justice spectrum to include misdemeanors and homicides.

The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office recognizes the Portland Police Bureau, and the loss prevention teams from Target, Safeway, Fred Meyer, Home Depot, and WinCo for their dedicated efforts investigating these cases.

The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office consulted with representatives of all of the retail stores listed as victims. They all support this pretrial resolution.   

#MCDA#


 

Attached Media Files: PR-20-44-Barry_Sanders.pdf
Jason Leo Hanson will receive 120 month prison sentence after pleading guilty to attempted murder in the first degree - 02/11/20

February 11, 2020

Jason Leo Hanson will receive 120 month prison sentence after pleading guilty to attempted murder in the first degree

Today, Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill announced that 30-year-old Jason Leo Hanson changed his plea and will receive a 120 month prison sentence for shooting at law enforcement following a pursuit in a stolen vehicle.

On February 10, 2020, Hanson pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted murder in the first degree with a firearm. As stated in court documents, Hanson is expected to receive a 120 month prison sentence when he is formally sentenced on March 12, 2020.

“Mr. Hanson put our community at extreme risk during this incident,” said Multnomah County Senior Deputy District Attorney Brian Davidson, who prosecuted this case. “We are incredibly lucky no one was injured as a result of Mr. Hanson’s incredibly dangerous driving as he fled law enforcement through several neighborhoods in a stolen vehicle and ultimately when he decided to pull out a firearm and start shooting toward law enforcement.”

This investigation started on October 18, 2018 when the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office located a stolen vehicle near Southeast 82nd Avenue and Southeast Johnson Creek Boulevard in Clackamas County, Oregon.

The owner of the vehicle had previously reported it as stolen on October 8, 2018 to Portland Police. 

A deputy assigned to the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office attempted to stop the vehicle but the driver, later identified as Hanson, sped off and refused to stop. After a pursuit that spanned Happy Valley and Portland, with speeds reaching approximately 60 miles per hour, Hanson ditched his vehicle on Southeast Gary Street and ran from the scene on foot into Portland city limits.

Deputies with the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office descended on the area and set up a containment zone around the neighborhood looking for Hanson. During the search, Clackamas County Sheriff Deputy Michael McLeland located Hanson in the 8500 block of Southeast 89th Avenue. Portland Police Officer Kameron Fender and CCSO Deputy Jonathan Campbell quickly arrived on scene and joined CCSO Deputy McLeland.

Hanson pulled out a Smith and Wesson .380 handgun and fired a single round in the proximity of CCSO Deputy McLeland, CCSO Deputy Campbell and PPB Officer Fender.

The bullet from Hanson’s firearm hit CCSO Deputy McLeland’s patrol vehicle.

CCSO Deputy Campbell and PPB Officer Fender returned fire toward Hanson, who was struck in the back and in the upper thigh. Law enforcement immediately provided Hanson first aid and paramedics transported him to the hospital.

At Monday’s change of plea hearing, PPB Officer Fender read an impact statement to the court which stated in part:

“I am honored and blessed to be able to serve the community that I was born in. I take pride in doing my job the right way: treating people with respect – the respect that they deserve and protecting vulnerable people from those that would do them harm. I consider myself incredibly lucky to be here today. That is because myself and two other deputies with the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office came extremely close to having been murdered on October 18, 2018. I have been in the law enforcement profession for just shy of 15 years. Never in that time have I encountered a person who so brazenly and intentionally attempted to take my life and the lives of other officers.

Mr. Hanson's actions that day could have easily taken a father from his children and a husband from his wife all because he did not want to face the responsibilities for his own actions.

Mr. Hanson tried to kill police officers who were simply doing their jobs and trying to do the right thing. It is fortunate that this type of event happens very infrequently in our area. ...

...Although, thankfully, we were not physically harmed that night by Mr. Hanson, it has altered my life forever. The emotional impact and trauma from this incident I carry with me today. I think about it, literally, every day - about how easily I could have been shot; the panic of having to react in the blink of an eye to defend my own life and the lives of the other deputies. The significance of his actions should not be over looked by what turned out to be pure luck that our lives were spared.

I would expect the court to hold Mr. Hanson accountable for what he has done. I believe the egregious nature of trying to unlawfully kill another human is well deserving of a severe sentence. … I also emphasize that this was done because of my profession; because I was acting to preserve the quality of life for the citizens in our community. I hope that is never lost sight of.”

According to court documents, upon release, Hanson will be on 36 months of post-prison supervision. The court ordered that he pay $1,037.98 in restitution to V-1 Ace Car Reconditioning. Additional restitution may be determined within 90 days.

The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office recognizes Portland Police Bureau Detective Todd Gradwahl, the lead investigator, and the members of the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office and the Portland Police Bureau for their dedicated efforts investigating this case.

#MCDA#


 

Attached Media Files: PR-20-43-Jason_Leo_Hanson.pdf
Antonio Francisco Marquez receives a 40 year prison sentence for sexually abusing three children - 02/08/20

February 8, 2020

Antonio Francisco Marquez receives a 40 year prison sentence for sexually abusing three children

Today, Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill announced that on Friday February 7, 2020, 42-year-old Antonio Francisco Marquez – who was a former recruiter for the United States Army – received a 40 year prison sentence for sexually abusing three young girls.

“This was particularly heinous abuse that spanned for years,” said Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney Melissa Marrero, who prosecuted this case. “Mr. Marquez’s conduct was unconscionable. This investigation only started after one of the young victims very bravely came forward with her report of abuse. The subsequent investigation spanned the country and involved multiple jurisdictions. The investigation resulted in law enforcement identifying a total of six victims of sexual abuse.”

DDA Marrero told the court that law enforcement also discovered hundreds, if not thousands, of images of child pornography that Mr. Marquez not only collected, but in many cases, created while abusing his victims.

Three of the six victims live in Oregon. The other three live out of state, which is where they were sexually abused, according to law enforcement. As stated in court during Friday’s sentencing hearing, Marquez could face additional prosecution for conduct that occurred outside Multnomah County.

The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office regularly communicated with the victims and their families about the pretrial negotiations. They all support this resolution.

“There is a great sense of relief for everyone involved that Mr. Marquez will never be able to do this again to another child,” said DDA Marrero.

In September of 2019, Marquez changed his plea to guilty. The court convicted him of three counts of sexual abuse in the first degree, three counts of using a child in a display of sexually explicit conduct, three counts of encouraging child sexual abuse in the second degree and two counts of sodomy in the first degree.

By pleading guilty, Marquez admitted that he, on multiple occasions, unlawfully and knowingly subjected three females, all of whom were under the age of 12, to sexual contact by touching sexually intimate parts of their bodies; that he engaged in oral sex with two of the minors; that he unlawfully and knowingly employed, authorized, and permitted all three minor victims to engage in sexually explicit conduct and recorded them in separate visual recordings; and that he unlawfully possessed and knowingly accessed, with intent, multiple visual recordings of sexually explicit conduct involving a child while consciously disregarding the fact that the creation of the recordings involved child sexual abuse.

These crimes occurred between 2015 and May 2018.

All of the victims in this case are known to Marquez, but there is no family relationship.

The victims in this case, and members of their families, do not want media contact. The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office is requesting media refrain from attempting to or actually contacting them.

The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office recognizes Multnomah County Sheriff Detectives Kevin Odil, Greg Vining, and Daren Taber and U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division Special Agent Christopher Graves for their dedicated efforts investigating this case.

We also recognize Victim Advocate Malia Bruni for the support and advocacy she provided the victims and their families in this case.

 

#MCDA#

Contact: Brent Weisberg, Communications Director
Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office
Phone: 503.988.6567 | Email: Brent.Weisberg@mcda.us

 

Jack Edward Young receives 50 month prison sentence for starting at least 13 fires in downtown Portland - 02/06/20

February 6, 2020

Jack Edward Young receives 50 month prison sentence for starting at least 13 fires in downtown Portland

Today, Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill announced that 43-year-old Jack Edward Young received a 50 month prison sentence for starting at least 13 fires over a two day period in March of 2019 in downtown Portland.

Upon changing his plea, the court convicted Young of two counts of arson in the first degree and two counts of reckless burning.

As part of his sentence, the court placed Young on five years of formal probation. This will ensure he receives intensive drug treatment and services upon his release from prison.

“The Portland Fire Bureau and Portland Police Bureau dedicated tremendous efforts and resources responding to and investigating these fires,” said Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney Ashly Crockett, who prosecuted this case. “We are fortunate that the response to these fires, especially the ones so close in time proximity, did not strain the resources of our community’s public safety agencies.”

  • On March 9, 2019, at approximately 12:55 a.m., the Portland Fire Bureau responded to the 1800 block of Southwest 10th Avenue after receiving information about a dumpster fire.
  • On March 10, 2019, at approximately 5:31 p.m., the Portland Fire Bureau responded to the 1700 block of Southwest Broadway after receiving information about a paper box being set on fire.
  • On March 10, 2019, at approximately 5:39 p.m., the Portland Fire Bureau responded to the intersection of Southwest 5th Avenue and Southwest Montgomery Street after receiving information about a trash can being set on fire.
  • On March 10, 2019, at approximately 6:33 p.m., the Portland Fire Bureau responded to the 600 block of Southwest Jackson Street after receiving information about a mattress being set on fire outside a building.
  • On March 10, 2019, at approximately 9:52 p.m., the Portland Fire Bureau received information about a fire that occurred at a food cart near the intersection of Southwest 9th and Southwest Alder. The fire was set earlier in the day and extinguished by the time it was reported.
  • On March 10, 2019, at approximately 10:26 p.m., the Portland Fire Bureau responded to an apartment complex in the 1000 block of Southwest Broadway after receiving information about a fire being set inside an elevator.
  • On March 11, 2019, at approximately 1:16 a.m., the Portland Fire Bureau responded to the 1800 block of West Burnside Street after receiving information about a garbage can being set on fire.

The Portland Fire Arson Investigation Unit later determined Young set fire to a trash can in the area of Southwest 9th Avenue and Southwest Alder Street; a dumpster at Southwest 10th Avenue and Southwest Oak Street; a trash can at Southwest 10th Avenue and Southwest Alder Street; a trash can at Southwest 10th Avenue and Southwest Washington Street; and a trash can at Southwest 9th Avenue and Southwest Washington Street. All of these fires occurred on or about March 10, 2019 in the City of Portland.

Under Oregon law, a person commits the crime of arson in the first degree if they start a fire and intentionally damage protected property.

Under Oregon law, a person commits the crime of reckless burning if they recklessly damage someone else’s property by fire or explosion.

The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office recognizes the Portland Fire Bureau, its Arson Investigation Unit, and the Portland Police Bureau for their dedicated efforts responding to and investigating these fires.

#MCDA#


Contact: Brent Weisberg, Communications Director 
Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office
Phone: 503.988.6567 | Email: Brent.Weisberg@mcda.us

Attached Media Files: PR-20-40-Jack_Edward_Young.pdf
Jeff Douglas Smeltzer receives a jail and probation sentence for assaulting a homeless veteran - 02/06/20

February 6, 2020

Jeff Douglas Smeltzer receives a jail and probation sentence for assaulting a homeless veteran

Today, Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill announced that 53-year-old Jeff Douglas Smeltzer received a jail and probation sentence for assaulting a homeless veteran living in the Kenton neighborhood.

“For whatever reason, Mr. Smeltzer decided to violently take out his frustrations about homeless individuals in his neighborhood on a 73 year old veteran who was living out of his car,” said Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney Eric Palmer, who prosecuted this case. “The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office is fully committed to protecting and serving all members of our community no matter their life circumstances. Since this attack, the victim has secured housing and is attempting to move on from this vicious incident.”  

This investigation started on August 13, 2019, at approximately 7:30 p.m., when Portland Police received information about a man, later identified as Smeltzer, beating a 73 year old homeless man near the intersection of North Russet Street and North Montana Avenue. When officers arrived, they contacted the victim who was bloodied with a severe laceration above his left eye.

The victim told police that his vehicle was his only shelter and that it had been parked on a public roadway for about approximately two or more weeks.

Police asked the victim if he knew his attacker. The victim said no, but provided a physical description and told police that the suspect previously honked his vehicle’s horn while driving by the victim’s car and had yelled at the victim and others to move.

When police contacted Smeltzer, he told officers that he called 9-1-1 to report individuals living near North Russet Street and North Montana Ave. During the 9-1-1 call, emergency dispatchers gave Smeltzer information about how to receive assistance from the City of Portland.

During the call with emergency dispatchers, Smeltzer said he was going to handle the situation himself. The emergency dispatcher admonished Smeltzer to avoid any confrontations or illegal behavior.

Smeltzer told police that after the 9-1-1 call, he walked up to the intersection, located the victim’s vehicle, knocked on the window and told the person inside, “you need to move.”

Law enforcement determined that Smeltzer pulled the victim from his vehicle and started punching him repeatedly in the face.

After the assault, Smeltzer left the victim bloodied and walked away.

Police spoke with witnesses who confirmed the victim’s account. One witness told police the suspect used a closed fist to assault the victim. Another witness told police the victim stood still while being assaulted.

Firefighters and paramedics responded and treated the victim. Against medical advice, he declined to be taken to the hospital to receive stiches.

This case resolved on the day of trial. The victim, who was present and fully involved with the pretrial negotiations, supported the resolution of this case.

After changing his plea to guilty, the court convicted Smeltzer of one count of assault in the fourth degree.

Court imposed sentence in State v. Smeltzer

  • 14 days jail;
  • 24 months of formal probation;
  • Participate in a mental health evaluation and complete any treatment that is recommended;
  • If no mental health treatment is recommended, complete an anger management class;
  • Pay a $300 fine;
  • Pay a $1,000 compensatory fine to the victim.

Smeltzer, through his attorney, presented the victim a cashier’s check at the time of sentencing to complete his compensatory fine obligation.

Multnomah County is part of the Joint Office of Homeless Services, which oversees the delivery of services to homeless individuals in Multnomah County. The office represents a shared commitment between Multnomah County and the City of Portland to making services easier to access for those in need. For more information, please click here.

The City of Portland uses the “One Point of Contact Campsite Reporting System so community members can report issues of illegal camping or related garbage within Portland. Additional information is available on the City of Portland’s Homelessness Toolkit.

The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office recognizes Portland Police Bureau Officers Elizabeth Willard, Justin Clary and Jeffrey Elias for their dedicated efforts investigating this case.

#MCDA#


Contact: Brent Weisberg, Communications Director 
Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office
Phone: 503.988.6567 | Email: Brent.Weisberg@mcda.us

Anthony Kronus Swift charged with four separate rapes - 02/04/20

February 4, 2020

Anthony Kronus Swift charged with four separate rapes

Today, Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill announced the filing of a 12-count indictment against 50-year-old Anthony Kronus Swift for allegedly raping and sexually abusing four separate women.

This was a multi-jurisdictional investigation involving the Portland Police Bureau, Multnomah County Sherriff’s Office and law enforcement assigned to the East Metro Gang Enforcement Team.

Swift is charged with four counts of rape in the first degree, four counts of sexual abuse in the first degree and four counts of sexual abuse in the second degree.

According to the indictment, the rape and sexual abuse of all four victims occurred in Multnomah County in separate locations, and on separate dates between June and December 2019.

All of the alleged rapes involved victims who were incapable of consent, according to the indictment. It is further alleged that Swift used forcible compulsion to commit two of the rapes.

Law enforcement located and arrested Swift in the 12700 block of Southeast Powell Boulevard in Portland, Oregon at approximately 4 p.m. on January 30, 2020 and took him into custody.

According to prior court hearings, Swift was a co-founder of the Krude Rude Brood.

Like in all criminal and civil matters, electronic copies of court documents, which are not subject to a protective order, are available to the public through the Oregon eCourt Information (OECI) system.

No additional information can be released by the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office at this time pursuant to the Oregon Rules of Professional Conduct.

A charging document is only an accusation of a crime. Swift is innocent unless and until proven guilty.

This case is being prosecuted by the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office Strategic Prosecution and Services Unit, which reviews cases that stem from neighborhood-specific concerns. The unit is primarily responsible for interfacing with the community over specific issues, and handles all types of cases across the criminal justice spectrum to include misdemeanors and homicides.

#MCDA#


 

Attached Media Files: PR-20-39-Anthony_Kronus_Swift.pdf
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Brianna Curry-Neal convicted of animal neglect, placed on formal probation (Photo) - 01/31/20

January 31, 2020

Brianna Curry-Neal convicted of animal neglect, placed on formal probation

Today, Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill announced that 32-year-old Brianna Curry-Neal was put on one year of formal probation for chronically starving her dog to the point of near death.

Multnomah County Judge Angela Franco Lucero found Curry-Neal guilty of one count of animal neglect in the first degree. 

Under Oregon law, a person commits animal neglect in the first degree when they intentionally, knowingly, recklessly or with criminal negligence, fail to provide minimum care for an animal in their custody and the failure to provide care results in serious physical injury or death to the animal.

This investigation started on April 16, 2019 when Curry-Neal walked into the Oregon Humane Society with her five-year-old border collie named “Ziggy” wrapped in a blanket. Curry-Neal immediately told the front desk staff that her dog needed emergency help.

Although the Oregon Humane Society does not provide emergency veterinarian services, medical personnel unwrapped the blanket and found Ziggy to be extremely skinny, fragile and lethargic. The medical team at the Oregon Humane Society determined Ziggy’s condition to be extremely critical.

Ziggy was unable to move any other part of his body besides his eyes because he was so weak. He weighed 21 pounds and was near death due to his emaciation.

X-rays showed that Ziggy’s body had broken down all of his fat and so much muscle that his heart was one-third the normal size, which medical experts testified to be consistent with chronic malnourishment and suffering.

Ziggy required more than 30 days of intensive care at the Oregon Humane Society.

“Without the immediate intervention and attention of the medical team at the Oregon Humane Society, there is no doubt that Ziggy would have died. Staff remained well past closing time on April 16 to provide Ziggy’s initial six hour resuscitation,” said Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney Clayton Jacobson, who prosecuted this case. “While in the care of the Oregon Humane Society, Ziggy received intravenous fluids, a slow re-feeding plan, a blood transfusion and physical therapy from more than 20 Oregon Humane Society staff members. Today, Ziggy is happy, healthy, and thriving.”

During the investigation, the Oregon Humane Society’s Investigations Department learned Curry-Neal had owned Ziggy her entire life. Curry-Neal told investigators conflicting stories about her care for Ziggy, including that when Ziggy stopped eating she attempted to give him activated charcoal, which a friend of hers recommended. She later said that she was providing Ziggy with an abundance of food.

The state called an expert witness who testified, if true, Ziggy would have been obese instead of emaciated.

Court imposed sentence in State v. Curry-Neal

  • One year of formal, supervised probation;
  • Comply with all conditions of probation as outlined in ORS 137.540;
  • Comply with any orders of her probation officer, including any treatment plans;
  • Perform 45 hours of community service;
  • Restitution to the Oregon Humane Society will be determined within 90 days;
  • Not possess any domestic animal for five years, pursuant to ORS 167.332.

This is an appropriate sentence that takes into account the aggravating factors as well as the mitigating factors the District Attorney’s Office came to learn during the litigation of this case.

The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office recognizes the Oregon Humane Society staff and medical team for their dedicated efforts investigating and treating Ziggy.

Ziggy is now under the care of an adopted family.

Several photos of Ziggy are being included with this press release. Photo number three was taken approximately one month into Ziggy’s recovery.

#MCDA#


Contact: Brent Weisberg, Communications Director 
Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office
Phone: 503.988.6567 | Email: Brent.Weisberg@mcda.us

Senior Pastor Michael Sperou sentenced to 160 months in prison for sexually assaulting a child - 01/31/20

January 31, 2020

Senior Pastor Michael Sperou sentenced to 160 months in prison for sexually assaulting a child

Today, Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill announced that North Clackamas Bible Community Senior Pastor Michael Sperou, 69, received a 160 month prison sentence for sexually assaulting a child, who was under the age of 12, on two separate occasions between 1991 and 1996.

The court also imposed a $70,000 compensatory fine that will go to the victim. Upon release, Sperou will be on post-prison supervision for approximately 12 years and will have to register as a sex offender.

Multnomah County Deputy District Attorneys Melissa Marrero and Charles Mickley prosecuted this case.

"Michael Sperou created an environment that facilitated prolonged abuse of children," said Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney Melissa Marrero. "This was an unconscionable breach of trust. Mr. Sperou turned his church into a controlling, coercive and damaging environment."

"Some people die with their secrets of being sexually abused," said Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney Charles Mickley. "That's not what happened here. Here, we have survivors coming forward sharing intimate details about the darkest periods of their lives. These survivors are examples of remarkable courage and strength."

On January 24, 2020, a jury found Sperou guilty of two counts of unlawful sexual penetration in the first degree.

Sperou serves as pastor for a group – founded in 1980 – that initially identified itself as the Southeast Bible Church. The members gathered and lived among rental homes they shared. The group now calls itself the North Clackamas Bible Community. Sperou has led the group since its formation.

The victim named in the indictment testified about the abuse she suffered at the hands of Sperou, who was in a position of trust and authority over her due to his role as pastor in the church she was born into.

Furthermore, two other women testified that Sperou also sexually assaulted them while they were children within the church. Due to the statute of limitations, the state was barred from prosecuting Sperou for those criminal offenses.

Several members from the jury attended today’s sentencing hearing. Of the seven women known to have been abused by Sperou when they were children, six, including the named victim, provided impact statements to the court. DDA Marrero described to the court the disturbing facts and lasting trauma each survivor has suffered as a result of being sexually assaulted by Sperou.

The state presented evidence during trial that showed Sperou had a sexual interest in children; that he allowed minors to spend time with him in his bed; that he provided alcohol to minors; that he emotionally and financially manipulated church members; that he abused alcohol; and controlled nearly every aspect of church members’ lives, including how they raised their children.

In 2015, the court imposed a 20 year prison sentence after a previously empaneled jury convicted Sperou of three counts of unlawful sexual penetration in the first degree. However, in June 2019, the Oregon Supreme Court reversed the convictions and remanded the case back to Multnomah County Circuit Court.

Prior to closing arguments in the retrial, the court granted a judgment of acquittal and dismissed Count 1 of the indictment, which charged Sperou with one count of unlawful sexual penetration in the first degree because of a legal technicality discovered by the state and then presented to the defense counsel and the court. As such, Count 1 was not decided by the jury and therefore, the state could not seek a sentence for that conduct.

The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office recognizes the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office and Portland Police Bureau, including PPB Detective Heidi Helwig, the primary investigator, for their dedicated efforts investigating this case.

We also recognize Victim Advocates Malia Bruni and Kimberly Phillips-Clark (retired) for the advocacy and support they provided the survivors during the initial trial and during the most recent trial.

#MCDA


Contact: Brent Weisberg, Communications Director 
Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office
Phone: 503.988.6567 | Email: Brent.Weisberg@mcda.us

Attached Media Files: PR-20-38-Michael_Sperou.pdf
Sarah Brown receives eight year prison sentence for shooting at police after breaking into a SW Portland home - 01/31/20

January 31, 2020

Sarah Brown receives eight year prison sentence for shooting at police after breaking into a SW Portland home

Today, Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill announced that 28-year-old Sarah Brown received an eight year prison sentence for breaking into a home, pointing a gun at police and then firing three rounds toward officers.

This investigation started on March 7, 2018 when Portland Police responded to a home in the 800 block of Southwest King Avenue after receiving information about an in-progress burglary. The homeowner told emergency dispatchers that he noticed his cordless-landline phone in use. He picked up the phone and heard an unknown female’s hushed voice talking to someone. The homeowner used his cell phone to call police.

Portland Police responded and checked the home. Although they did not locate anyone inside the residence, they did find the handset to the homeowner’s cordless phone missing and an external window damaged. The evidence was documented and police prepared to leave.

While completing the initial residential burglary investigation on Southwest King Avenue, police received information about a burglary that had occurred at a motel adjacent to the home. There, motel guests told police that clothing and other items had been taken from a room. Police later located some of these items in the backyard of the home that had been burglarized earlier in the night. Without any suspect identified, officers left.

Several hours later, an employee from the motel heard suspicious noises coming from an area between the motel and the home that had been burglarized earlier in the night. The employee looked around and saw a person, later identified as Brown, in the backyard pacing back and forth and looking into the homeowner’s residence. He called police.

Police set up containment around the neighborhood.

Multiple officers responded including a police K-9 unit. Upon doing so, they saw the front door to the residence they were at earlier in the night was now wide open. The K-9 alerted to suspicious activity inside a storage compartment under an external staircase. Officers could hear someone making noise inside the storage area. They announced their presence and told the person to surrender but no response was provided.

Portland Police Officer Grant Smith pulled open the storage area door, which is when Brown pointed a gun in his face at a distance of approximately one to two feet. Officer Smith yelled out “gun!”

Portland Police Officer Darrell Shaw, who was standing next to Officer Smith, gave Brown commands to drop her weapon and then fired his police issued handgun.

Officers retreated to find protection around the corner of the house. While waiting for ballistic shields to arrive, officers started negotiating with Brown, who threatened to shoot officers if they approached. Brown said she did not believe the people giving her commands were police officers.

Additional officers arrived and provided ballistic shields to the officers who were in front of the gun. Two officers used the shields to extend the wall in an attempt to protect them from any rounds fired toward them. As members of the Portland Police Bureau’s Crisis Negotiation Team spoke with Brown she fired multiple shots in the proximity of officers.

In response, Officer Joseph Webber, who was standing over the officers holding up the ballistic shields, fired his police AR-15 rifle.

The negotiations continued and during that time, officers with the Portland Police Bureau’s Special Emergency Response Team saw that Brown no longer had the gun in her hand. The tactical officers used an opportunity to successfully take Brown into custody, which is when they observed her with two gunshot wounds, one to the finger and the other to the leg.

Police recovered the gun used by Brown and determined it to be a .40 caliber semi-automatic handgun.

After the shooting, while police were investigating the incident, a person approached police and told officers that his loaded .40 caliber semi-automatic handgun was missing. Police determined the owner of the gun left it fully loaded inside his unlocked vehicle, which was parked at the motel, and that Brown found it and took it. Police located the gun’s holster inside the storage area where Brown fired at officers.

On March 22, 2018, a grand jury returned a not true bill regarding the use of deadly force by Officer Shaw and Officer Webber. The grand jury determined the use of deadly force to be a lawful act of self-defense or defense of another person. The grand jury also returned an indictment against Brown for the attempted murder of the police officers and other crimes.

Upon changing her plea, the court convicted Brown of three counts of attempted murder in the first degree, two counts of unlawful use of a weapon and one count of burglary in the first degree.

This sentence takes into account both aggravating factors and mitigating factors, which included Brown’s drug addiction, her mental health both at the time of this incident and while in custody, the fact that she had no prior criminal record, and the incredible risk she put the public and law enforcement in by engaging in this dangerous and potentially deadly conduct.  

The Portland Police Bureau and other victims in this case support this pretrial resolution. 

The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office recognizes the Portland Police Bureau’s Central Precinct Officers Grant Smith, Darrell Shaw, Joseph Webber, Benson Weinberger, and Torrey Streed, among others who responded and put their lives in danger to investigate these crimes and to Detective Scott Broughton who was the primary investigator.

This case was prosecuted by Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney Todd Jackson.

#MCDA#


Contact: Brent Weisberg, Communications Director 
Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office
Phone: 503.988.6567 | Email: Brent.Weisberg@mcda.us

Attached Media Files: PR-20-36-Sarah_Brown.pdf
Rafael Gustavo Alcon-Ayala charged with three separate rapes dating back to 2016 - 01/31/20

January 31, 2020

Rafael Gustavo Alcon-Ayala charged with three separate rapes dating back to 2016

Today, Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill announced the filing of a six-count indictment against 30-year-old Rafael Gustavo Alcon-Ayala for allegedly committing three separate rapes between 2016 and 2019.

At this time, law enforcement, including the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office, is requesting assistance from the public in determining whether there are additional victims.

Alcon-Ayala is charged with five counts of rape in the first degree and one count of strangulation.

According to the indictment, Alcon-Ayala did unlawfully and knowingly engage in sexual intercourse on three separate occasions when the victims were incapable of consent either by reason of physical helplessness or mental incapacitation. Furthermore, Alcon-Ayala is accused of unlawfully and knowingly impeding the normal breathing and blood circulation of one of the victims. 

The incidents are alleged to have occurred on July 28, 2016, December 2, 2017 and July 2, 2019 in Multnomah County. 

All of the victims identified in the indictment are requesting privacy. The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office is requesting that media refrain from attempting to or actually contacting them.

This case is being investigated jointly by the Portland Police Bureau’s Sex Crime Unit and the Gresham Police Department.

Like in all criminal and civil matters, electronic copies of court documents, which are not subject to a protective order, are available to the public through the Oregon eCourt Information (OECI) system.

No additional information can be released by the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office at this time pursuant to the Oregon Rules of Professional Conduct.

A charging document is only an accusation of a crime. Alcon-Ayala is innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Anyone with information on Alcon-Ayala is asked to call Portland Police Detective Michael Greenlee at 503-823-0871 or via email by clicking eenlee@portlandoregon.gov">here.

#MCDA#


Contact: Brent Weisberg, Communications Director 
Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office
Phone: 503.988.6567 | Email: Brent.Weisberg@mcda.us

Grand Jury returns not true bill decision in December 8, 2019 fatal officer involved shooting - 01/27/20

January 27, 2019

Grand Jury returns not true bill decision in December 8, 2019 fatal officer involved shooting

Today, Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill announced that upon the conclusion of the presentation of evidence, a grand jury returned a not true bill regarding the use of force by an officer assigned to the Portland Police Bureau that resulted in the death of 51-year-old Koben Henriksen.

The grand jury determined the use of deadly force by Portland Police Officer Justin Raphael was a lawful act of self-defense and/or defense of a third person, pursuant to Oregon law.

This investigation started on December 8, 2019 when Portland Police received information about a suspicious circumstance that involved a person with a knife near the intersection of Southeast 103rd Drive and Southeast Stark Street in Portland, Oregon.

A copy of the information previously released in this case from the Portland Police Bureau can be obtained by clicking here.

The grand jurors who reviewed this case all reside in Multnomah County. Each grand juror was selected by Multnomah County’s Circuit Court from the regularly scheduled jury pool. This is a process set by the Oregon Constitution.

Like in the past, the grand jury proceedings in this case were recorded, in accordance to ORS 132.260.

Pursuant to ORS 132.270, the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office will file a motion and request that the court authorize the release of a grand jury transcript for public review.

It shall be up to the Multnomah County Circuit Court Presiding Judge to determine if the motion to release the transcript will be granted.

Pursuant to the Oregon Rules of Professional Conduct, the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office has no additional comment on this matter.

#MCDA#


Contact: Brent Weisberg, Communications Director 
Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office
Phone: 503.988.6567 | Email: Brent.Weisberg@mcda.us

Tyrell Paul Dixon charged with manslaughter following fatal crash in Northeast Portland - 01/27/20

January 27, 2020

Tyrell Paul Dixon charged with manslaughter following fatal crash in Northeast Portland

Today, Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill announced the filing of a four-count charging document against 28-year-old Tyrell Paul Dixon for recklessly causing the death of 52-year-old Salvador Cruz-Garcia.

Dixon is charged with one count of manslaughter in the second degree, one count of driving under the influence of intoxicants, one count of reckless driving and one count of recklessly endangering another person.

This investigation started on January 25, 2020 when Portland Police received information about a two-vehicle crash near the intersection of Northeast Sandy Boulevard and Northeast 105th Avenue.

According to court documents, officers with the Portland Police Bureau’s Major Crash Team identified Dixon as the driver of the vehicle that crashed into Mr.  Cruz-Garcia’s vehicle. Witnesses told police that after the crash both Dixon and his passenger, his brother, exited the vehicle. Dixon’s brother left the scene. Officers later determined his father transported him to the hospital.

During the investigation, law enforcement determined Dixon’s vehicle was traveling westbound on Northeast Sandy Boulevard at a high rate of speed, ran a red light at the intersection and impacted Mr. Cruz-Garcia’s vehicle as he traveled northbound on Northeast 102nd Avenue and turned onto Northeast Sandy Boulevard with the right of way, according to court documents.

According to court documents, police located Mr. Cruz-Garcia’s vehicle with a deep impact intrusion on the passenger side. After the collision, Dixon’s vehicle came to a stop and hit a commercial structure.

When an officer contacted and asked Dixon for his driver’s license, he handed the officer a debit card, according to court documents. The officer returned the debit card and asked for Dixon’s driver’s license, however, Dixon once again handed the officer a different debit card. Officers observed other signs of impairment, which included Dixon having a flushed face and blood-shot eyes and observed him swaying side-to-side to the point where he almost fell over, according to court documents.

This case is being investigated by the Portland Police Bureau’s Major Crash Team, a part of the Traffic Division.

Like in all criminal and civil matters, electronic copies of court documents, which are not subject to a protective order, are available to the public through the Oregon eCourt Information (OECI) system.

No additional information can be released by the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office at this time pursuant to the Oregon Rules of Professional Conduct.

A charging document is only an accusation of a crime. Dixon is innocent unless and until proven guilty.

#MCDA#


Contact: Brent Weisberg, Communications Director 
Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office
Phone: 503.988.6567 | Email: Brent.Weisberg@mcda.us 

Attached Media Files: PR-20-33-Tyrell_Paul_Dixon.pdf
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Adam Valle receives an 85 month prison sentence for recklessly causing the death of a 19 year old (Photo) - 01/24/20

January 24, 2020

Adam Valle receives an 85 month prison sentence for recklessly causing the death of a 19 year old

Today, Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill announced that 27-year-old Adam Alexander Valle changed his plea and received an 85 month prison sentence for recklessly causing the death of 19-year-old Heaven Leigh Mathews while operating a stolen vehicle under the influence of methamphetamine.

“Heaven loved everyone unconditionally,” her father Gary Mathews said in court. “This was the worst thing to happen to our family. It has devastated us. Heaven was an incredible person. She was able to be friends to so many people. She was such a kind heart.”

Her family expressed immense compassion toward Valle and informed the court that they want to support him during his time in custody so that he re-enters our community successfully.

After pleading guilty to one count of manslaughter in the second degree, one count of unauthorized use of a vehicle, one count of fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer and one count of driving under the influence of intoxicants, the court sentenced Valle to 85 months in prison followed by three years of post-prison supervision. Valle will have to pay approximately $45,000 in restitution. Heaven’s family supports the resolution of this case.

This investigation started on March 9, 2019 at approximately 11 p.m. when officers assigned to the Portland Police Bureau’s East Precinct attempted to stop a vehicle in the area of Southeast 124th Avenue and Southeast Sherman Street after noticing the driver commit several traffic violations. While attempting to stop the vehicle, officers learned the vehicle, a 2004 Subaru Legacy, had previously been reported stolen.

The driver, later identified as Valle, refused to pull over and immediately accelerated away in an attempt to elude police.

Officers immediately recognized the dangerousness of Valle’s driving. Police did not pursue the vehicle and turned off their overhead lights and sirens.

Other officers – while on patrol – continued to look for the vehicle in the area, which was eventually located near the intersection of Southeast Division Street and Southeast 122nd Avenue. Police found the vehicle crashed into a steel light pole. The high-speed impact resulted in half of the vehicle being impaled by the pole.

A witness spoke with police and reported that immediately after the crash she saw Valle exit the vehicle and start limping away.

Police located Valle about a block away from the crash scene.

During this investigation, law enforcement learned Valle had likely been awake for several days with little to no sleep and that he was using methamphetamine.

When paramedics told Valle that he had been involved in a crash and that his passenger died, Valle started laughing.

Officers determined Heaven was seated in the front passenger seat of the vehicle Valle was driving, and that the passenger side of the vehicle took nearly the entire brunt of the impact.

Heaven died on scene despite the immediate first aid rendered by officers and paramedics.

The owner of the Subaru provided the District Attorney’s Office a victim impact statement that was presented to the court.

The impact letter read in part, “I would like the court and Mr. Valle to know how the theft and wrecking of my car has affected my life. The car that was stolen by Mr. Valle was payed off and was my only form of transportation.”

As a result, the victim and her husband had to purchase a new vehicle, which caused them to get behind on their rent.

“We have been trying to fight getting evicted. This has all trickled down from the theft of my Subaru. In the end, a young woman lost her life, a young man stands before the court ready for sentencing, and my husband and I are facing being homeless. No one wins in this tragic story,” the victim’s impact statement read.

Valle’s driving privileges will be permanently revoked.

The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office recognizes Portland Police Officer Mark Gaither, Officer Aaron Holwege, Officer Christopher Johnson, Officer Andrew Braun and the other officers assigned to the PPB East Precinct and PPB Traffic Division for their dedicated efforts investigating this case.

Multnomah County Senior Deputy District Attorney Glen Banfield prosecuted this case.

A photo of Heaven is being included with this press release with permission of her family.

#MCDA#


Contact: Brent Weisberg, Communications Director 
Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office
Phone: 503.988.6567 | Email: Brent.Weisberg@mcda.us

Following Oregon Supreme Court ruling, jury convicts pastor of sexually assaulting a child  - 01/24/20

January 24, 2020

Following Oregon Supreme Court ruling, jury convicts pastor of sexually assaulting a child 

Today, Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill announced that a jury convicted North Clackamas Bible Community Senior Pastor Michael Sperou, 69, of two counts of unlawful sexual penetration in the first degree for using his finger to penetrate the vagina of a child, who was under the age of 12, on two separate occasions between 1993 and 1996.

Multnomah County Deputy District Attorneys Melissa Marrero and Charles Mickley prosecuted this case.

In 2015, the court imposed a 20 year prison sentence after a previously empaneled jury convicted Sperou. However, in June 2019, the Oregon Supreme Court reversed the convictions and remanded the case back to Multnomah County Circuit Court.

The second trial in State v. Sperou commenced on January 13, 2020 with jury selection. During the state’s presentation of evidence, the victim named in the indictment testified about the abuse she suffered at the hands of Sperou, who was in a position of trust and authority over her due to his role as senior pastor in the church she was born into.

Furthermore, two other women testified that Sperou also sexually assaulted them while they were children within the church. Due to the statute of limitations, the state was barred from prosecuting Sperou for those criminal offenses.

According to court documents: Sperou serves as pastor of a group – founded in 1980 – that initially identified itself as the Southeast Bible Church. The members gathered and lived among rental homes they shared. The group now calls itself the North Clackamas Bible Community. Sperou has led the group since its formation.

The jury found that Sperou committed the crime of unlawful sexual penetration in the first degree against a child who was under the age of 12 on two separate incidents.

As part of its evidence presentation, the state showed Sperou had a sexual interest in children; that he allowed minors to spend time with him in his bed; that he provided alcohol to minors; that he emotionally and financially manipulated church members; that he abused alcohol; and controlled nearly every aspect of church members lives, including how they raised their children.

Prior to closing arguments, the court granted a judgment of acquittal on Count 1 of the indictment, which charged Sperou with one count of unlawful sexual penetration in the first degree because of a legal technicality discovered by the state and then presented to the defense counsel and the court.

Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge Andrew M. Lavin ordered that Sperou be taken into custody pending sentencing, which is scheduled for January 31, 2020 at 9:30 a.m.

The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office will have no additional comment on this case.

Resources:

 

#MCDA#


 

Attached Media Files: PR-20-30-Michael_Sperou.pdf