HILLSBORO, Ore.- On January 13, 2020, a Washington County jury found Sebastian Sylvester Meighan guilty of two counts of first-degree rape, second-degree rape and four counts of first-degree sex abuse. Deputy District Attorney Marie Atwood prosecuted Mr. Meighan in Judge Janelle Wipper’s courtroom.

Investigators learned the sexual abuse began when the victim was a young child and that it continued for at least eight years. The abuse was wide-ranging in nature. It escalated in severity as the victim aged. The defendant used threats to intimidate the victim in the hope she would not report the abuse.

In February of 2019, the abuse came to light. The victim took part in a class at school in which students discussed sexual abuse. During the same time period, the victim learned the defendant was going to become a father to a baby girl. She grew worried the infant would be subject to similar abuse and made the courageous decision to report it.

The victim alerted a school counselor, who notified the Oregon Department of Human Services. The Washington County Sheriff’s Office launched an investigation, ultimately leading to the arrest of Mr. Meighan.

The Washington County District Attorney’s Office would like to acknowledge the incredible bravery of the victim in reporting the abuse. This office also thanks Detective Chuck Anderson of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, CARES Northwest and the Oregon Department of Human Services for their work on this case.

A sentencing hearing is set for February 5, 2020 at 8:30 a.m.

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

HILLSBORO, Ore.- On December 23, 2019, Isaiah Andrew Mohr pleaded guilty to unauthorized use of a vehicle, attempt to elude police and two counts of first-degree burglary. He was sentenced to 65 months in prison by visiting Judge Henry Kantor. Deputy District Attorney Kate Glasson prosecuted the case against Mr. Mohr.

On November 21, 2019, Mr. Mohr stole a SUV from a home in Forest Grove, Oregon. The vehicle was then spotted in various locations across Washington County, Oregon throughout the day.

Washington County Sheriff’s deputies eventually located Mr. Mohr and attempted to arrest him. In trying to get away, he crashed into two patrol vehicles. One deputy suffered a concussion as a result of the incident.

The defendant then continued to elude deputies until he crashed into a home. He subsequently ran into another home in the area. The homeowner was present at the time and was forced to barricade herself in a bathroom until law enforcement arrived.

During this time, the defendant ran through the home and caused damage by throwing eggs and removing light fixtures. The Washington County Tactical Negotiations Team was eventually able to remove him from the home putting an end to the ordeal.

The Washington County District Attorney’s Office would like to acknowledge the professional work of area law enforcement in apprehending Mr. Mohr without additional injuries to himself or innocent victims involved.

In addition to his prison sentence, Mr. Mohr was also ordered to have no contact with his victims and to participate in substance abuse treatment programs while incarcerated. He will be subject to three years of post-prison supervision upon his release and will lose driving privileges for one year.

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

HILLSBORO, Ore.- On December 27, 2019, Judge Eric Butterfield sentenced Eric Alexander Valencia to 20 years in prison following his guilty plea to Manslaughter in the First Degree and Criminal Mistreatment in the First Degree.  District Attorney Kevin Barton and Deputy District Attorney Jason Weiner prosecuted the case against Mr. Valencia.

On October 28, 2017, a 16-month-old child was discovered unresponsive in his crib. Family members called 911 immediately but first responders discovered the child was deceased. A child fatality investigation was then conducted. The parents of the child reported the boy was healthy prior to his death. An autopsy was conducted, and the medical examiner found that the child died of an undetermined natural cause.

About six months later, the Oregon Department of Human Services received a call to the Oregon Child Abuse Hotline. The caller identified herself as Mr. Valencia’s therapist. The therapist reported that during a counseling session, Mr. Valencia admitted that he engaged in a series of abuse and assaultive acts towards his child in the days and weeks leading up to his death. He also admitted to intentionally suffocating the child on multiple instances including the night the child died.

Hillsboro Police renewed the criminal investigation based on this new evidence. Several people with knowledge of the situation reported they witnessed Mr. Valencia abuse the child and pets in his household.

Investigators spoke with Mr. Valencia on multiple occasions. He admitted to various acts of abuse including suffocating the child for 30-40 seconds the night of his death by placing his hand over the mouth and nose. He said he did this because the child would not stop crying. However, he claimed he did not kill the child and that the child was still alive when he removed his hand.

The Washington County District Attorney’s Office would like to acknowledge the work of Hillsboro Police detectives Megan Townsend and Victor Kamenir. This office also recognizes the work of the mandatory reporter who first alerted DHS to the abuse.  If that mandatory reporter had not alerted authorities, we would not have been able to prosecute this crime.

This office also encourages anyone who witnesses child abuse to call 911 immediately. Anonymous calls can also be made to the Oregon Child Abuse Hotline by calling 1-855-503-SAFE (7233).

Mr. Valencia will be transferred to the Oregon Department of Justice to begin serving his sentence.

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

HILLSBORO, Ore.- On December 16, 2019, a Washington County jury found Tony Eugene Hadd guilty of three counts of second-degree rape, three counts of second-degree sodomy and three counts of first-degree sexual abuse. Deputy District Attorney Rayney Meisel prosecuted Mr. Hadd in visiting Senior Judge Henry Kantor’s courtroom.

In April of 2019, the teenage victim made a disclosure of abuse to her mother and a school counselor. The allegations were reported to law enforcement. The victim was then interviewed by experts at CARES Northwest where she told investigators that the abuse began on a camping trip and lasted several months.

The Washington County District Attorney’s Office would like to acknowledge the bravery shown by the victim in coming forward. This office also commends the Tigard Police Detective Unit, CARES Northwest and the Oregon Department of Human Services for their work on this case.

A sentencing hearing is scheduled for December 23, 2019 at 8:45 a.m.

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

HILLSBORO, Ore.- The following is a statement from District Attorney Kevin Barton regarding the impact of Senate Bill 1013 on the State v Jeremiah Johnston case and future Washington County cases:

I am hopeful that the resolution of this case brings some amount of closure to the family of Sara Zghoul. 

Jeremiah Johnston committed a horrific and brutal murder of a young Washington County mother and his continued refusal to provide her family with the location of the rest of her body speaks to his level of depravity and his lack of remorse.

While the knowledge that her killer will never be free may provide some finality for Sara’s family, the ongoing flaws in Oregon’s new murder laws provide no such finality for the families of other crime victims or our community as a whole. 

The decision to weaken Oregon’s murder laws by replacing them with poorly drafted substitutes that apply retroactively directly hampers our ability to prosecute murders.  While the rushed passage and enactment of SB 1013 was an end-run around the express will of Oregon’s voters and extraordinarily disappointing, the refusal to convene a special legislative session to fix the known problems created by SB 1013 is entirely inexcusable.  Crime victims, their families and our communities deserve a system that prioritizes the safety of Oregonians over the goals of special interest groups.

Looking forward, I am hopeful the legislature will not rush future changes to our criminal laws without full consideration and will work with prosecutors to fix the problems in SB 1013.

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

HILLSBORO, Ore.- On December 4, 2019, Jeremiah Ward Johnston pleaded guilty to first-degree murder, second-degree kidnapping, first-degree abuse of a corpse and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder of a witness. He was sentenced to life with a minimum of 65 years in prison by Washington County Judge Ricardo Menchaca. Senior Deputy District Attorney John Gerhard and Deputy District Attorney Chris Lewman prosecuted Mr. Johnston. Mr. Johnston will be more than 100 years old before he becomes eligible for parole consideration.

On January 19, 2018, Mr. Johnston picked up Sara Zghoul from a hotel located in Beaverton, Oregon. Mr. Johnston then took the victim to his parent’s house in an unincorporated area of Washington County, Oregon near Cooper Mountain.

Mr. Johnston was upset with the victim due to what he perceived as an unpaid drug debt. Mr. Johnston then attempted to use Ms. Zghoul to lure another drug dealer to the home with the intent to rob that drug dealer. He bound the victim with duct tape, but eventually released her from the restraints. Ms. Zghoul attempted to flee the home, but Mr. Johnston caught her at the top of a staircase and pushed her down a flight of stairs. Ms. Zghoul struck her head on a wall at the bottom of the stairs, likely resulting in a head injury. Mr. Johnston decided at that moment that he would kill Ms. Zghoul.

Mr. Johnston murdered Ms. Zghoul and dismembered her body.

The defendant then contacted his friend who owned a fishing boat and told him about the murder. That acquaintance then reported to police what he had learned from Mr. Johnston, and police quickly located Mr. Johnston’s vehicle. Mr. Johnston fled from police and unsuccessfully attempted suicide before he was arrested.

While in custody at the Washington County Jail, Mr. Johnston befriended an inmate and told him graphic details about murdering and dismembering Ms. Zghoul. He then offered the inmate $50,000 to kill the friend who made the first report to police. Investigators uncovered the plot before it could be enacted.

The Washington County District Attorney’s Office would like to acknowledge the Washington County Major Crimes Team, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, and Detective Brad Verboort for their work on this case.

A restitution hearing is scheduled for February 3, 2020.

Mr. Johnston 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

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