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
December 27, 2019