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
June 11, 2020