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News Release
Sexual Assault Kit Backlog Elimination Project conviction leads to 33 year prison sentence - 07/10/18

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                 

JULY 10, 2018

Sexual Assault Kit Backlog Elimination Project conviction leads to 33 year prison sentence 

Today, Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill announced 64 year old Curtis Clint Williams was sentenced to 33 years in prison after a jury convicted him of numerous criminal offenses following a rape in 2011 that was solved as part of the Sexual Assault Kit Backlog Elimination Project launched in Multnomah County.

On June 26, 2018, a 12-person jury convicted Williams of one count of rape in the first degree, two counts of sodomy in the first degree, one count of unlawful sexual penetration and three counts of sexual abuse in the first degree. The jury acquitted the defendant on one count of unlawful sexual penetration in the first degree.

Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge Kathleen Dailey presided over the trial and sentencing. This was the first case in Multnomah County to go to trial associated with the Sexual Assault Kit Backlog Elimination Project and the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative Project (SAKI).

“Mr. Williams has a pattern of violence and has shown he does not perform well when out of custody and while on supervision. In fact, he has been returned to prison in the past for assaultive behavior,” said Senior Deputy District Attorney Amity Girt during William’s sentencing. “Additionally, the rape in which Mr. Williams is being sentenced for occurred while he was on supervision for a 1985 rape.”

This investigation started on September 30, 2011 when the victim, then 19, reported she had been raped and sexually abused inside the Alder Hotel Apartments in downtown Portland. The victim did not previously know her attacker. The case was assigned to the Portland Police Bureau’s Sex Crimes Unit.

The victim immediately reported the assault to law enforcement and underwent an extensive Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence (SAFE) examination. In 2016, the victim’s SAFE kit was sent to a private lab in Salt Lake City, Utah as part of the Sexual Assault Kit Backlog Elimination Project and then further analyzed by the Oregon State Police (OSP) Forensic Laboratory which yielded a DNA match to the defendant.

“The SAKI Workgroup would like to commend the survivor in this case for giving the criminal justice system a second chance,” said Detective Sgt. Molly Daul, supervisor of the Portland Police Bureau’s Sex Crimes Unit. “It is our hope her fortitude will assist other sexual assault survivors in reporting and seeking justice. We will continue to pursue sexual offenders identified from our previously un-submitted SAFE kits and help those survivors in a victim centered manner.”

“I am very proud of the work we are doing to eliminate the backlog of sexual assault kits that existed not only in Multnomah County, but several jurisdictions throughout Oregon,” said Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill. “We must thank our partners from the New York County District Attorney’s Office and the Bureau of Justice Assistance for their financial support. The grant funding the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office and Portland Police Bureau received made the elimination of backlogged SAFE kits a priority. We also reaffirm our commitment to survivors of rape and sexual assault. Your case is important to us. We will thoroughly investigate any sex crime allegation and prosecute defendants like Curtis Clint Williams to the fullest extent of the law.”

As stated in a prior release, the victim in this case is represented by legal counsel and is requesting complete privacy. Members of the media are asked to not to contact the victim or any member of her family by any means due to exceptional privacy concerns.

The lead detective on the case was Portland Police Bureau Sex Crimes Unit Detective Jason Christensen.

Sexual Assault Kit Backlog Elimination 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 initiated a project to process thousands of untested 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 with the Portland Police Bureau’s Sex Crimes Unit after PPB 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 the private lab in Utah for testing.

In early 2018, an additional 302 SAFE kits from 13 other Oregon counties were sent to the lab using funds from the DANY grant. In total, nearly 3,000 SAFE kits from Oregon were sent to be tested. As of July 2018, only 40 kits of the nearly 3,000 remain to be tested. 

As of July 1, 2018, five people have been indicted in Multnomah County as part of the Sexual Assault Kit Backlog Elimination Project. Two cases have resulted in convictions, the other three are pending trial.

#MCDA#

Contact: Brent Weisberg, Communications Director

Phone: 503.988.6567

Email: rent.Weisberg@mcda.us">Brent.Weisberg@mcda.us

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