HILLSBORO, Ore.- On June 22, 2020, a jury found Benito Juarez-Hernandez guilty of two counts of using a child in display of sexually explicit conduct, nine counts of first-degree sexual abuse, four counts of first-degree sodomy and one count of first-degree unlawful sexual penetration. On June 29, 2020, Judge Ted Sims sentenced the defendant to 975 months in prison. Deputy District Attorney Chris Lewman prosecuted the case against the Mr. Juarez-Hernandez.

The defendant is a convicted sex offender and was sent to prison in 2014 for sexually abusing a minor. During his prison stay, two additional victims came forward to disclose they were also abused by Mr. Juarez-Hernandez. Once these new allegations surfaced, a fourth victim also reported abuse perpetrated by the defendant.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office investigated these allegations. Detective Mark Povolny also investigated crimes committed by the defendant’s brother. Cupertino Juarez-Hernandez was sentenced to 55 years in prison for his crimes earlier this year.

The Washington County District Attorney’s Office acknowledges the courage of the victims in coming forward. This office also thanks Detective Povolny and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, the Hillsboro Police Department, CARES Northwest and the Oregon Department of Human Services for their work on this case.

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

HILLSBORO, Ore.- On June 18, 2020, Marco Antonio Xiap-Jelkes Junior pleaded guilty to first-degree forcible rape, first-degree forcible sodomy, second-degree rape and second-degree sexual abuse. Judge Rebecca Guptill then sentenced the defendant to 200 months in prison. Deputy District Attorney Marie Atwood prosecuted the case against the defendant.

Hillsboro Police were contacted by the mother of one of three total victims to report her child and a friend were both raped by the defendant. The attack took place in Hillsboro, Oregon in April of 2018 but didn’t immediately come to light. The defendant was 19 years old at the time and the two victims were underage.

In 2019, investigators also learned of a third victim who reported she was also raped by the defendant. He met her on social media and convinced her to meet him at a public park in Hillsboro, Oregon where the attack took place.

The Washington County District Attorney’s Office acknowledges the work of investigators with the Hillsboro Police Department. This office also thanks CARES Northwest for their work on this case.

In addition to his prison sentence, Judge Guptill ordered the defendant to register as a sex offender and barred him from having any contact with his victims or their families upon his release.

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

HILLSBORO, Ore.- The Washington County District Attorney’s Office is honoring World Elder Abuse Month as our office also seeks to raise awareness to crimes impacting seniors in our community.

Our dedicated team of prosecutors handles crimes committed against vulnerable adults. This team is focused on holding those who commit these crimes accountable. These crimes include theft, physical and sexual abuse, neglect and abuses of fiduciary duty and power of attorney to victims aged 65 and older.

Perpetrators

Data shows those committing these crimes are most often known to the victim. They are often either a family member or a caregiver. The Department of Justice has also found that the amount of monetary loses were greater when the victim knew the suspect. From 2013-2017, that average loss was $50,200 in cases reported across the country, according to the DOJ.

Warning Signs

Our team also conducts outreach and training opportunities to educate community members and public safety partners about the warning signs to watch for when it comes to spotting elder abuse. Those red flags include:

  • Any suspicious or unexplained injury
  • Isolation of the elder from family or friends
  • Elders who become extremely withdrawn, non-communicative or non-responsive
  • Change in behavior or mood
  • Sudden changes in financial situations
  • Request to sign power of attorney forms

Additionally, Washington County Vulnerable Adult Multidisciplinary Team meets regularly with public safety and community partners from across the area to coordinate efforts to protect vulnerable populations. Senior Deputy District Attorney Allison Brown chairs this group.

“We have a team of dedicated professionals here in Washington County that is committed to protecting elders and adults with disabilities.  The team works collaboratively to ensure vulnerable adults are safe and to hold these offenders accountable,” SDDA Brown said.

This month, the team is also taking part in online training hosted by the Oregon Department of Justice’s elder abuse division. The training will be focused primarily on the investigation and prosecution of financial crimes committed against vulnerable adults, which is one of the most common types of abuse in this population. The team is looking forward to increasing their skills to best serve elders and vulnerable adults in Washington County. 

Resources:

If you suspect elder abuse, report it to law enforcement immediately. You can also contact Washington County Adult Protective Services for additional information or call the Elder Safe program at 503-846-6048.

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

HILLSBORO, Ore.- On June 10, 2020, Aaron Cooper Zepeda pleaded guilty to second-degree assault and was sentenced to 70 months in prison by Judge Oscar Garcia. Deputy District Attorney Will Stabler prosecuted the case against Mr. Zepeda.

On September 10, 2019, the defendant was intoxicated and driving with a friend in Beaverton, Oregon. He repeatedly told the friend he wanted to “stick” someone before he arrived at a convenience store. When he arrived at the business, he identified a random person and began arguing with the stranger as the victim entered the building. Mr. Zepeda then followed the victim into the business and continued to harass him. At one point the defendant got into the victim’s personal space, prompting the victim to shove him away. Mr. Zepeda then pulled what appeared to be a pocketknife and stabbed the victim in the torso.

Store employees quickly pushed Mr. Zepeda out of the building and called police. The defendant fled the area and was able to elude authorities.

Beaverton Police obtained surveillance photos from the business and sent them to the Washington County Probation and Parole Department. Two parole officers immediately identified Mr. Zepeda as the attacker that night. Police then obtained a search warrant for the defendant’s home and collected evidence including clothing worn during the attack. Mr. Zepeda admitted to being at the business but denied intentionally stabbing the victim.

The Washington County District Attorney’s Office acknowledges the work of the Beaverton Police Department and that of the Washington County Probation and Parole Department on this case.

In addition to his prison sentence, Judge Garcia also ordered the defendant to undergo three years of post-prison supervision upon his release. Mr. Zepeda 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 June 15, 2020, Caden Joseph Hall pleaded guilty to second-degree robbery. Judge Rebecca Guptill then sentenced Mr. Hall to 55 months in prison. Deputy District Attorney Sara Loebner prosecuted the case against the defendant.

On April 22, 2020, the defendant went to a Beaverton, Oregon Fred Meyer location with the intent to commit theft. A loss prevention officer immediately recognized the defendant as the same person who stole items from the store just two days earlier. She identified herself as a store employee and ordered Mr. Hall to leave the building. The defendant then made a threatening comment that he had a knife and proceeded to use a tool to cut a security cable on a portable speaker and left the store without paying for the item.

The loss prevention officer followed the defendant to the parking lot where she was able to flag down a Washington County Sheriff’s Deputy. The deputy then confronted Mr. Hall and found he had several items hidden in his clothing including the stolen speaker. Mr. Hall admitted the speaker was stolen but told the deputy he believed he could not be arrested due to the nature of the crime and the ongoing crisis surrounding COVID-19. He was in fact arrested and lodged at the Washington County Jail.

Investigators then linked the defendant to two additional theft cases committed during Governor Kate Brown’s state of emergency declaration. The defendant has a history of other property crimes including theft, robbery, and unlawful entry into a motor vehicle.

The Washington County District Attorney’s Office is dedicated to protecting our community and its businesses, especially as COVID-19 continues to present a hardship to companies large and small. In early May, District Attorney Kevin Barton issued this statement alerting the public to concerns that criminals may be looking to take advantage of the crisis. This office hopes this case serves as a reminder that offenders will be held accountable for their actions.

This office would like to acknowledge the work of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office in apprehending Mr. Hall.

In addition to his prison sentence, Mr. Hall was also ordered to undergo three years of post-prison supervision upon his release. He 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 June 9, 2020, Michael William Hern pleaded guilty to first-degree rape, two counts of first-degree unlawful sexual penetration and two counts of first-degree sexual abuse. Mr. Hern was then sentenced to 30 years in prison by Judge Beth Roberts. Deputy District Attorney Rayney Meisel prosecuted the case against the defendant.

Allegations of abuse perpetrated by the defendant first came to light in 2005. Mr. Hern denied the allegations at that time and passed a polygraph examination. Charges were not filed.

In 2019, a new victim came forward with similar allegations of abuse. This new evidence prompted Detective Cheryl Crecelius of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office to reopen an investigation into the defendant. That investigation uncovered a total of six victims in Washington County who reported the defendant abused them when they were juveniles. The majority of the abuse took place in Washington County, Oregon but also occurred in other areas of the state over a span of 20 years.

“Mr. Hern engaged in a pattern and practice of befriending people with young daughters, gaining their trust and then gaining access to their children. His predatory behavior spans over two decades and only stopped when the world began to listen to the voices of these survivors, some of whom are now young women,” said DDA Meisel.

The Washington County District Attorney’s Office acknowledges the bravery of the survivors who came forward to tell their stories. This office also commends the work of law enforcement including Detective Crecelius, Detective Todd Steele of the Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office and Oregon State Police.

Mr. Hern will be transported to Yamhill County, Oregon where he is expected to plead guilty to additional charges related to the abuse of a seventh victim. Mr. Hern also has ties to Josephine County, Oregon as well as other areas of Oregon. Investigators fear there could be other victims who have not yet come forward. Anyone with information about crimes committed by Mr. Hern should contact local law enforcement or the Washington County Sheriff’s Office immediately.

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

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