HILLSBORO, Ore.- On March 15, 2019, Washington County Judge Theodore Sims sentenced Samuel de Jesus Santos-Vasquez to 225 months in prison. In January of 2019, Santos-Vasquez was convicted of two counts of First-Degree Sex Abuse, First-Degree Sodomy and Second-Degree Unlawful Sexual Penetration. Deputy District Attorney Chris Lewman prosecuted the case against Santos-Vasquez.

On Thanksgiving weekend of 2018, Santos-Vasquez attended a party at a family member’s home. He snuck away from the party and entered the room of a 11-year-old girl who was sleeping at the time. He then began to molest her. He left the room when family members called for him but returned back two times throughout the night. A family member spotted Santos-Vasquez leaving the victim’s room. The victim made a disclosure of abuse to a school counselor the next week, prompting the initial investigation.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office launched an investigation and determined the abuse had been ongoing for the past two years. The victim was interviewed by experts at CARES Northwest and underwent an examination at Randall Children’s Hospital. Evidence and testimony collected during those visits were vital in Santos-Vasquez’s conviction. We’d also like to acknowledge the work of Washington County Sheriff’s Office Detective Charles Anderson on this case.

In addition to his sentence, Santos-Vasquez will also undergo 10 years of post-prison supervision. He has been 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 March 19, 2019, Washington County Judge Janelle Wipper sentenced Leo Gabonia to 375 months in prison. On March 14, 2019, Gabonia was convicted of eight sex abuse-related charges including First-Degree Sodomy, First-Degree Sexual Penetration and First-Degree Sex Abuse. The case against Gabonia was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Chris Lewman.

Forest Grove Police first began investigating Gabonia in September of 2017 after the then nine-year-old victim made disclosures of abuse to a family member. That family member then contacted police who began the investigation.

Gabonia was known to the family and used that connection to gain access to the victim. Police learned the abuse began two years prior to the disclosure with inappropriate touching and kissing and quickly escalated from there. Based on victim accounts and the expertise from staff at Randall Children’s Hospital and CARES Northwest, police gathered enough evidence to move forward with charges against Gabonia.

Gabonia became very upset after the verdict was issued. He jumped on a table in the courtroom and declared he had nothing to live for. He then attempted to jump from a 4th story window but was taken into custody by Washington County sheriff’s deputies.

The Washington County District Attorney’s Office would like to acknowledge the work of Forest Grove Police Detective Charles McCutcheon for his work on this case.

Gabonia 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 March 21, 2019, Marcus Dale Jolley pleaded guilty to three counts of Second-Degree Sexual Abuse and was sentenced to two years in prison by Washington County Judge Charles Bailey. District Attorney Kevin Barton prosecuted the case against Jolley.

Tigard Police began investigating Jolley in May of 2017 after a female student at Tigard High School reported to school staff that Jolley had inappropriately touched her. Jolley served as a teacher at the high school but left to take a position at Sherwood Middle School. That student decided to come forward after she heard Jolley was planning a possible return to Tigard High School. She indicated she was afraid for the safety of other female students and came forward to protect others.

Over the course of their investigation, detectives obtained a search warrant to gain access to Tigard High School internal records and uncovered evidence of prior concerning incidents involving Jolley and students. In those cases, previous students accused Jolley of inappropriate touching and kissing dating back to 2006. None of those prior incidents were reported to law enforcement or the Oregon Department of Human Services.

A second victim was also identified during the investigation. It was discovered she had an ongoing sexual relationship with Jolley while he was a teacher and she was a student. This abuse occurred in 2005 but was never reported to authorities.

The Washington County District Attorney’s Office would like to acknowledge the hard work of the Tigard Police on this challenging case. These crimes would not have been discovered had it not been for the perseverance and dedication of a Tigard school resource officer.

In addition to his prison sentence, Judge Bailey ordered Jolley to register as a sex offender and to have no contact with his victims. He is also ordered to have no contact with schools or minors and will undergo five years of post-prison supervision once he is released.

Mr. Jolley 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 March 14, 2019, Reachana Chan was sentenced to 20 years in prison by Judge Oscar Garcia. Chan pleaded guilty to Using a Child in a Display of Sexually Explicit Conduct, two counts of Second-Degree Rape, Second-Degree Sexual Abuse and Third-Degree Sexual Abuse. The convictions represent the sex abuse of five victims between 12-16 years old. The defendant was a stranger to all the victims and targeted the young girls on social media. Deputy District Attorney Allison Brown prosecuted the case against Chan.

Beaverton Police Detective Maggie Brown began investigating the defendant in late 2017. The initial report involved two victims who were sexually assaulted by the defendant when they were 16. The crimes were similar in that the defendant contacted the children online, met them in person and engaged in unwanted sexual conduct. The defendant was arrested on these charges in March of 2018. 

After the defendant’s arrest, police learned of three additional victims. All three were ages 12-13 when they met Chan through social media. While each case is different, the pattern of abuse is the same. Chan would contact the victims and lie about his age. He would then take compromising photos and videos of the girls and later use that material to blackmail them into sexual relations.

In one case, Chan even used a knife to threaten a victim and forced her to perform sexual acts on him. He let her go, but then repeated the pattern and threatened to send out photos he had taken of her. He then forced her to meet him again and repeated the attack.

In addition to his prison sentence, the defendant cannot have contact with minors and is barred from using the internet, a computer, or smart phones.  He is also required to register as a sex offender. 

Chan 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

Top photo: Our victim advocates and support staff. 

Bottom photo: Molly Shipley (left) and Destinie Davis (right).

HILLSBORO, Ore.- March is National Social Work Month and the Washington County District Attorney’s Office is taking the time to honor those who dedicate their careers to helping others.

Social workers play a crucial role in our mission; to seek justice and protect the community. While our prosecutors may get most of the recognition, our victim advocates are integral to the legal process.

Whether they are ushering a victim through court proceedings, coordinating flights and transportation for victims and their families who may live outside the area, or merely offering a shoulder to cry on, our team of 14 advocates and support staff help victims every day.

In 2018, our team helped nearly 12,000 victims and had more than 102,000 contacts with those victims over the year. They also help victims recover from crime by seeking restitution on their behalf. Thanks to their efforts, the court system ordered more than $2.4 million in restitution for the victims we served in 2018 alone. Three of our advocates also speak Spanish, helping us to better communicate with those we serve.

But the numbers don’t tell the whole story. Two of our victim advocates, Molly Shipley and Destinie Davis, shared their experiences.

Molly joined the DA’s office in 2012 as a volunteer. She knew right away she wanted to make this work her career. Of course, it isn’t easy. Molly and her colleagues see the most intimate details of criminal cases on a daily basis. They have to meet with these victims and their families during some of the worst times of their lives. Molly says all that negativity doesn’t affect her the way some may suspect.

“A lot of people ask me how I do it when the work must be so sad and depressing,” Molly said of the questions she often gets. “To me, it is just the opposite. Yes, the cases are tragic and cause immense suffering for victims and families, but what is most remarkable is witnessing the strength and resiliency of the human spirit.

“As an advocate in the DA’s office, I am able to work alongside the prosecutors who hold the offenders accountable.  I give victims a chance to be heard and valued.  When a victim gains power in the process, the victim triumphs and the offender loses.  This is especially true with domestic violence victims, who are often made to feel powerless by their abusers.  I believe when the good prevails, it has a ripple effect throughout the community and we all win,” Molly added.

While it may be easy to linger on the more difficult aspects of her job, Molly instead cherishes the positive memories she’s made along the way. One difficult homicide case stands out for her.

“At the conclusion of a homicide case, I once had a victim’s family ask for me and the prosecutor to stand in a family photograph. It was incredibly special and it’s moments like that that re-energize me and show the value of our work,” Molly said.

She isn’t alone in that sentiment. Destinie Davis is a member of our Child Abuse Team-- a dedicated group of prosecutors and advocates who work on cases involving minors. As you can imagine, this work can be especially difficult.

Just like Molly, however, Destinie focuses on the positive impact she can have on these victims when they need it the most.

“As an advocate, there is nothing better than being able to go home at night knowing that I assisted someone who needed help navigating what can be a very confusing process,” Destinie said of her work as a victim advocate.

“Sometimes this means simply explaining a court hearing to someone over the phone, while at other times it means sitting with a victim who has no one to support them while they listen to some of the most heart-wrenching news of their lives. Most importantly, it means helping the most vulnerable victims find their voice and hold up a “microphone” so that those in power can hear them speaking. We all deserve to be heard, and I think of my primary role as ensuring that the quieter voices don’t get lost in the cacophony of the system,” Destinie explained.

As you can see, it takes someone with a special talent for empathy and respect to work in this field. Are you interested in helping victims navigate the legal process? Do you know someone who would excel in this role? Click here to learn more about our volunteer and internship opportunities. Afterall, Molly started as a volunteer and has turned that opportunity into a rewarding career.

 

HILLSBORO, Ore.- On March 12, 2019, Tanya Roxanna Schmalz pleaded guilty to the Attempted Murder of her estranged ex-husband, Jonathan Schmalz. Judge Charles Bailey sentenced Schmalz to 90 months in prison. Chief Deputy District Attorney Bracken McKey prosecuted the case against Schmalz.

Hillsboro Police first began investigating Schmalz in November of 2018 when they got a call from a concerned citizen. That caller reported that her friend, later identified as Schmalz, had talked about killing her estranged ex-husband. The friend said Schmalz planned to spray a can of Rush—a substance known to have a euphoric and disorienting effect— onto the victim’s face then inject him with a syringe of cold insulin. Schmalz believed the substances would kill the man.

Police met with the caller and found her story to be credible. Detective Anthony Johnson soon took over the investigation and applied for a court order allowing the friend to wear a body wire. The friend then captured Schmalz on tape discussing the planned murder of her ex-husband. When officers arrested Schmalz they found a can of Rush and a full syringe of insulin.

Over the course of the investigation, detectives learned that Schmalz made a similar attempt on the victim’s life in 2016. In that instance, she laced a bottle of alcohol with an unknown substance and gave it to him. He was later found by Hillsboro Police wandering incoherently in and out of traffic on a busy street. He was taken to the hospital at the time.

In addition to her prison sentence, Schmalz will also undergo three years of post-prison supervision. She will be transferred to the Oregon Department of Corrections to begin serving her sentence.

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

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