HILLSBORO, Ore.- On January 12, 2022, on the second day of his trial, Brett Howard Cunningham, age 41, pleaded guilty to first-degree invasion of personal privacy and first-degree encouraging child sexual abuse. Deputy District Attorneys Chris Lewman and Rayney Meisel prosecuted the case against Mr. Cunningham before Washington County Circuit Court Judge Andrew Erwin. 

The defendant was employed as a kindergarten teacher at Orenco Elementary School in Hillsboro, Oregon when the Oregon Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force received a cybertip that he was accessing child pornography from his Multnomah County home.  

In May of 2020, Portland police executed a search warrant on the house and seized the defendant’s devices. He admitted they would find four images and videos depicting child pornography but claimed they were not for sexual purposes. Mr. Cunningham was charged in Multnomah County for possession and duplication of that child abuse material.

In addition to the four images and videos the defendant acknowledged, investigators also found a photo the defendant took of a student using the restroom at Orenco Elementary School in Washington County. The photo depicts intimate areas of the child’s body and is taken from an angle such that the defendant would have to be hidden from view when he took it. The victim was identified by police and no other students were impacted. 

The Washington County District Attorney’s Office wishes to acknowledge the work of the Oregon Department of Justice and the Portland Police Bureau on this case. 

Mr. Cunningham also agreed to plead guilty to two charges of first-degree encouraging child sexual abuse related to the Multnomah County case. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for February 3, 2022. 

Media contact information
Stephen Mayer
Public Information Officer
971-708-8219

HILLSBORO, Ore.- On December 29, 2021, 23-year-old Devanne Joshua Branderhorst pleaded guilty to compelling prostitution and second-degree sexual abuse. On January 6, 2022, Washington County Circuit Court Judge Kathleen Proctor sentenced the defendant to a total of 70 months in prison. Senior Deputy District Attorney Allison Brown prosecuted the case against Mr. Branderhorst. 

The case involved sexual assault and efforts to facilitate the prostitution of two victims, ages 17 and 18. Police first learned of the defendant’s crimes in December of 2019, after they were called to a disturbance at a house in Washington County, Oregon.  The defendant was at the residence with both victims and was providing them alcohol and prescription medication. He sexually assaulted the 18-year-old victim while she was intoxicated. 

As part of the investigation, police learned the defendant was causing the 17-year-old victim to engage in prostitution. These acts of prostitution went on for months and were arranged using the social media website, Seeking Arrangement. This website is often associated with illegal sexual activity. Police discovered text messages showing the defendant directing the victim’s acts of prostitution. He also had a sexual relationship with the victim. He attempted to cause the 18-year-old to engage in prostitution as well but was unsuccessful.

Detectives interviewed the defendant. He initially denied the allegations involving both victims but later admitted he did establish accounts on Seeking Arrangement for two victims.

Judge Proctor also ordered the defendant to undergo post-prison supervision for three years following his release and required him to register as a sex offender. Mr. Branderhorst will be transferred to the Oregon Department of Corrections to begin serving his sentence. 

In addition to this case, sheriff’s deputies also arrested Robert Kiyoshi Sunamoto, age 75, after he used the same website to contact one of the victims for sex. Detectives determined he met the 17-year-old victim, took her back to his home, and paid her for sex. In July of 2021, Mr. Sunamoto pleaded guilty to commercial sexual exploitation and was sentenced to two years of probation. 

January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Awareness Month. In 2018, this office helped launch the Washington County Human Trafficking Task Force. Its mission is to identify sex trafficking cases, to rescue victims from these situations and to hold offenders accountable. For more information on these efforts, visit our website

This case is an important reminder of the dangers present online for children. The task force works together to educate the community about these risks to help prevent these types of crimes from occurring in the future. Senior Deputy District Attorney Andy Pulver recently conducted a presentation aimed at educating parents and guardians about these dangers. This presentation is available on our website

This office wishes to acknowledge the work of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office on this case including Detective Mark Povolny. Additionally, this office wishes to thank Safety Compass of Oregon for their assistance and support provided to one of the victims. 

Media contact information
Stephen Mayer
Public Information Officer
971-708-8219

HILLSBORO, Ore.- On January 5, 2022, a Washington County jury found Mark Charles Anderson guilty of unlawful use of a weapon and menacing. Judge Andrew Erwin then sentenced the defendant to 90 days in jail and formal probation. Senior Deputy District Attorney Jeff MacLean prosecuted the case against Mr. Anderson. 

The victim in this case is the defendant’s mother whom he lived with in Washington County, Oregon. The victim contacted the Elder Safe program operated by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office to seek information about a restraining order against her son. She reported to a program specialist that the defendant was behaving erratically and often verbally abused her. She hoped a judge would grant the order so that the defendant would be forced to move out of her home. 

On November 3, 2021, the victim called her program specialist with Elder Safe. She reported the defendant was acting erratically once again and had concerns for her safety because of his behavior that day. She pleaded with the sheriff’s office employee to come to her home so they could complete the needed paperwork for the restraining order. That staff member could hear the defendant yelling obscenities in the background and could sense the victim was very afraid in that moment. The program specialist called non-emergency dispatch immediately and requested a welfare check on the home. 

While deputies were en route, a concerned friend called emergency dispatch to report the defendant was threatening to kill his mother and burn the home to the ground with her inside of it. She also reported the defendant was armed with a spring-assisted knife. 

When deputies arrived, they spoke to the victim who confirmed her son threatened to stab her with the knife, which he displayed, and to burn the home down. The defendant was arrested without incident. 

The Washington County District Attorney’s Office wishes to acknowledge the quick thinking of the Elder Safe program specialist for aiding the victim in this case. This office also thanks sheriff’s deputies, including Deputy Brett Winders, and the victim for her participation in this process. 

Elder Safe is a member of the Washington County Elder Abuse Multidisciplinary Team, which is comprised of this office, all law enforcement agencies in Washington County, Adult Protective Services, mental health, and other community partners. The Washington County Multidisciplinary Team reviews difficult elder abuse cases, develops investigative guidelines, identifies needed training, and helps coordinate procedures among agencies and other activities.

According to the National Council on Aging, in almost 60% of elder abuse and neglect incidents, the perpetrator is a family member. To confidentially report suspected elder abuse or neglect, call Adult Protective Services in Washington County at (971) 673-5200.  If you suspect a crime, call your local police department. If you just need more information, call Elder Safe at (503) 846-6048.

In addition to his jail sentence, Judge Erwin also ordered the defendant to have no contact with the victim going forward and to engage in applicable treatment programs. 

Media contact information
Stephen Mayer
Public Information Officer
971-708-8219

HILLSBORO, Ore.- On January 4, 2022, Kenneth William Thomas, age 57, pleaded guilty to first-degree sexual abuse and was sentenced to 75 months in prison by Washington County Circuit Court Judge Kathleen Proctor. Senior Deputy District Attorney Allison Brown prosecuted the case against the defendant. 

On January 1, 2021, the defendant, who was already a convicted sex offender, approached the 21-year-old victim at a bus stop in Cornelius, Oregon. He was a complete stranger to the victim. He offered her methamphetamine and she refused and tried to ignore him. Both the victim and defendant then boarded the bus. 

The victim exited the bus in Forest Grove, Oregon and the defendant followed her. He then attacked her from behind and put his hand over her neck and mouth and asked her if she was ready to die. He pressed his body up against hers while in an aroused state, and they continued to struggle until the victim was able to escape his grasp. People in the area heard her screams and called police. 

Forest Grove police responded and found the defendant a few blocks away. He appeared to be under the influence and admitted to using methamphetamine that day. He had a variety of concerning items with him including a knife, latex gloves, and sex toys. He admitted he had contact with the victim and that she appeared to have developmental disabilities but denied touching her. The victim positively identified Mr. Thomas as her attacker. 

The Washington County District Attorney’s Office wishes to acknowledge the work of Forest Grove police and CARES Northwest on this case. The victim should also be commended for her courage in seeing the case through to prosecution. 

Mr. Thomas will be transferred to the Oregon Department of Corrections to begin serving his sentence. 

Media contact information
Stephen Mayer
Public Information Officer
971-708-8219

HILLSBORO, Ore.- On December 23, 2021, Washington County Circuit Court Judge Ricardo Menchaca sentenced Scott Christopher Smith, age 47, to 75 months in prison. On December 16, 2021, a jury found the defendant guilty of two counts of first-degree sexual abuse. Deputy District Attorney Jason Weiner prosecuted the case against Mr. Smith. 

In 2018, the defendant sexually abused a 12-year-old girl when he believed she was sleeping. The abuse was not reported until 2020, when the victim’s relative told a mandatory reporter. The Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Beaverton Police Department investigated the case.

During the sentencing hearing, DDA Weiner cited Mr. Scott’s criminal history related to abusing and neglecting children, including convictions for breaking the leg of his infant daughter and leaving his two young daughters unattended. 

The Washington County District Attorney’s Office wishes to acknowledge the bravery of the survivor in this case for participating in the court process. This office also thanks DHS and Beaverton police for their work on this case. 

The defendant will be transferred to the Oregon Department of Corrections to begin serving his sentence. 

Media contact information
Stephen Mayer
Public Information Officer
971-708-8219

HILLSBORO, Ore.- On December 21, 2021, Jarrod Deferrari pleaded guilty to first-degree robbery with a firearm, unlawful use of a weapon with a firearm, and attempted first-degree burglary. Washington County Circuit Court Judge Andrew Erwin then sentenced the defendant to 90 months in prison. Senior Deputy District Attorney Andrew Freeman prosecuted the case against the defendant. 

The defendant was arrested after a riot in downtown Portland, Oregon on the night of November 4, 2020, in which it is alleged the defendant smashed the windows of multiple buildings, including the St. Andre Bessette Catholic church off of West Burnside Street. After being charged with riot and first-degree criminal mischief, the defendant was released from Multnomah County custody the next day. 

On May 19, 2021, while on release for the riot case, the defendant robbed a convenience store near Jesuit High School in Beaverton, Oregon. The defendant entered the store masked and wearing black from head to toe, leapt over the counter with a pistol in hand, and aimed the gun in the clerk’s face while demanding the victim open the cash drawer. The incident was captured on surveillance cameras, but the defendant fled the scene. The crime went unsolved for weeks as the assigned investigators continued efforts to identify the robber. 

Meanwhile, the defendant’s squatting in a nearby vacant home came to the attention of WCSO patrol deputies. On May 21, 2021, fire crews responded to a report of smoke from the home only to withdraw after encountering the defendant armed with a gun. On May 29, PPB officers arrested the defendant as he rode a TriMet bus from Beaverton to Portland while armed with a 12-gauge shotgun and a pistol. At that time, he was charged with weapons offenses in Multnomah County and also arrested for the incident on May 21. On June 3 the defendant was again arrested after deputies spotted Deferrari returning to the vacant residence. Finally, on June 8, deputies found the defendant inside the vacant home again and arrested Deferrari for first-degree burglary. The defendant spray-painted Antifa graffiti inside the home and told deputies that despite previous arrests, the defendant could use the house.   

WCSO Detectives then connected the defendant to the 7-11 robbery. By then the defendant was well known to WCSO patrol staff and a sergeant recognized the defendant in surveillance images circulated in a bulletin about the robbery. Investigators were then able to match various items to the robbery, including items found in the vacant house and the pistol seized by PPB on May 29. 

The Washington County District Attorney’s Office wishes to acknowledge the work of the WCSO and the Portland Police Bureau in these investigations, and also recognizes the lasting effects that violent crimes have on their victims and the community. The defendant will serve a 90-month sentence in the Department of Corrections for crimes committed in Washington County without the possibility of time reductions or early release. Before arriving at DOC the defendant will be transferred to the custody of Multnomah County to face prosecution on the riot and weapons charges.

Media contact information
Stephen Mayer
Public Information Officer
971-708-8219

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HILLSBORO, Ore.- On January 12, 2022, on the second day of his trial, Brett Howard Cunningham, age 41, pleaded guilty to first-degree invasion of personal privacy and first-degree encouraging child...
HILLSBORO, Ore.- On December 29, 2021, 23-year-old Devanne Joshua Branderhorst pleaded guilty to compelling prostitution and second-degree sexual abuse. On January 6, 2022, Washington County Circuit...
HILLSBORO, Ore.- On January 5, 2022, a Washington County jury found Mark Charles Anderson guilty of unlawful use of a weapon and menacing. Judge Andrew Erwin then sentenced the defendant to 90 days in...
HILLSBORO, Ore.- On January 4, 2022, Kenneth William Thomas, age 57, pleaded guilty to first-degree sexual abuse and was sentenced to 75 months in prison by Washington County Circuit Court Judge...
HILLSBORO, Ore.- On December 23, 2021, Washington County Circuit Court Judge Ricardo Menchaca sentenced Scott Christopher Smith, age 47, to 75 months in prison. On December 16, 2021, a jury found the...
HILLSBORO, Ore.- On December 21, 2021, Jarrod Deferrari pleaded guilty to first-degree robbery with a firearm, unlawful use of a weapon with a firearm, and attempted first-degree burglary. Washington...
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