Volume 5 | August, 2021
Welcome to the summer edition of the Washington County District Attorney’s Office newsletter. I hope your summer has been enjoyable, especially now that we are, hopefully, past the unusually hot weather.

As you can read in this newsletter, we have been busy here in the DA’s Office. Our courthouse, which operated in a reduced capacity throughout the pandemic, has opened more fully, allowing hundreds of criminal cases to proceed forward after a lengthy delay. While pandemic restrictions throughout the justice system have impacted all types of cases, it has been especially difficult for cases involving vulnerable victims such as domestic violence and child abuse.

On a more positive note, we recently celebrated several events designed to raise community awareness for crime victims, including Elder Abuse Awareness Day and Child Abuse Awareness Month. Also, in this newsletter you can watch a video of a special outreach effort we made regarding hate and bias crimes, especially those committed against the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. 

In the theme of new beginnings, we welcomed several new law clerks into the DA’s Office. These law students are learning how to become attorneys and will perhaps one day join our ranks as prosecutors. We also celebrated another successful hire that resulted from the first annual Oregon Diversity Legal Job Fair earlier this year. And, we congratulated four new graduates of our Veterans Treatment Court program!

Unfortunately, we continue to see concerning crime trends throughout the metro area as both violent crimes and property crimes are rising. In Washington County, we are experiencing an increase in property crime, especially car theft and car break-ins. Despite these challenges, we will continue to prosecute all levels of crime throughout the county to ensure our community remains a safe place to live, work and raise a family.

I wish you and your family a restful remainder of the summer along with good health and safety.
-District Attorney Kevin Barton
DA's Office Committed to Protecting Homes & Businesses from Vandalism
DA Barton joins with Washington County’s law enforcement leaders in a commitment to honor free speech and peaceful assembly while also protecting the rights of business owners and residents to be free of rioting and vandalism. Following a riot in Tigard earlier this year, DA Barton and Sheriff Garrett released a joint statement to this effect and the Washington County DA’s Office filed charges against a number of individuals who rioted and engaged in crimes in downtown Tigard.
More recently in May, Antifa members made plans to again appear in Washington County, this time at the Tigard home of a Portland police officer who was involved in a Portland shooting. Investigators uncovered social media chatter (pictured on the bottom right) from individuals coming into Washington County who warned each other that “charges in Washington County are worse than Multnomah.” According to news reports (pictured on the bottom left), the belief that crimes would be prosecuted in Washington County discouraged attendance and no riot occurred.  
Above: Pamplin Media Group article on planned action outside police officer's home.
Above: An example of social media chatter warning about harsher penalties in Washington County.
Honoring Important Awareness Dates
National Crime Victims' Rights Week

National Crime Victims' Rights Week took place in April and we worked with community partners on several outreach events, one of which was our Virtual Community Roundtable. We engaged in conversation with several agencies about the impact of COVID-19 on victims and survivors over this past year; challenges and successes; how they are responding and how we can best support the needs of victims and survivors going forward, particularly within communities impacted by inequity.

Please click the video below to view this important discussion.
Video Spotlight
DA's Office Joins Sheriff's Office in Honoring World Elder Abuse Awareness Day
In honor of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, which took place June 15th, we worked with our partners at the Washington County Sheriff's Office to bring increased attention to this issue throughout the month.

Elder abuse can come in all shapes and sizes, from physical and verbal abuse to financial and sexual abuse. Abandonment and neglect are also common crimes committed against older adults.

With the population of those 65 and over expected to rise 175% in the next ten years, it's vital we all do our part to care for elders, watch for warning signs, and report abuse to law enforcement.

To learn more about the Elder Safe Program run by the sheriff's office, please visit their website.

For more information on how these crimes are prosecuted by the Washington County District Attorney's Office, visit our website.
Speaking Up Against Asian Hate

In May, we joined the Muslim Educational Trust and the Washington County Sheriff's Office to pay tribute to Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

We believe it’s more important than ever to show our support for our fellow community members, especially in light of shocking and disturbing incidents of bias crimes targeting Asians across the country.

To learn more about our Equity & Justice initiatives, click here.
Courthouse News
Steven Wayne Jones Sentenced to 50 Months in Prison Following 10th DUII Conviction
HILLSBORO, Ore.- On April 22, 2021, Steven Wayne Jones pleaded guilty to driving under the influence of intoxicants. Judge Oscar Garcia sentenced the defendant to 50 months in prison. Deputy District Attorney David Pitcher prosecuted the case against Mr. Jones.

This is the defendant’s 10th DUII conviction since 1998. Mr. Jones was most recently convicted of DUII in Multnomah County, Oregon in 2017 and was still undergoing court-ordered supervision when he was arrested for the most recent offense.

Mr. Jones, whose driver’s license has been revoked for life, was found asleep behind the wheel of his vehicle outside a convenience store in December of 2020. Deputies from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene. They found an empty beer can in his cupholder along with a bottle containing liquor in the backseat. The defendant admitted to consuming alcohol earlier that day. Deputies conducted a breath test in which the defendant was found to have a blood alcohol content of .19.

The Washington County District Attorney’s Office wishes to acknowledge the work of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office in removing this dangerous driver from our roadways.

In addition to his prison sentence, Judge Garcia also ordered the defendant to undergo 10 months of post-prison supervision and to participate in an alcohol treatment program.
Ryan Javier Gonzalez Sentenced to Five Years in Prison in Child Sexual Predator Case
HILLSBORO, Ore.- On June 9, 2021, Ryan Javier Gonzalez, age 36, pleaded guilty to first-degree online sex corruption and two counts of luring a minor. Judge Erik Buchér then sentenced the defendant to five years in prison. Deputy District Attorney Matt Wise prosecuted the case against the defendant.

In March of 2020, Beaverton Police Detective Chad Opitz created a profile on a social networking site known to be associated with illegal activity. The profile purported to belong to a mother of a 10-year-old girl. That same day, Mr. Gonzalez, who was already a convicted sex offender at the time, messaged the account. The defendant offered to be the girl’s “teacher” and described in graphic detail the sexual activities he wanted to subject the child to. He also sent graphic videos to the account and asked that they be shown to the girl.

A few days after this initial contact, the defendant messaged the account again. He sent additional graphic images and agreed to meet the mother and daughter at a location in Beaverton, Oregon. He did arrive at that location but noticed a police car and fled the area.

Just four days later, the defendant began messaging the account again. He agreed to meet the child at a park and promised to bring a condom with him. Undercover officers watched as Mr. Gonzalez arrived at the park. He was then arrested. Officers found a condom in his pocket.

The Washington County District Attorney’s Office wishes to acknowledge the work of Detective Chad Opitz and the Beaverton Police Department on this case.

In addition to his prison sentence, Mr. Gonzalez was also ordered to undergo three years of post-prison supervision, register as a sex offender and complete child sex abuse treatment. Mr. Gonzalez will be transferred to the Oregon Department of Corrections to begin serving his sentence.
DA Barton Welcomes New Law Clerks
We'd like to welcome our new law clerks who were sworn in by District Attorney Barton recently.

Our law clerks are current 2nd year and 3rd year law students who assist both felony and misdemeanor attorneys on a wide range of duties.

This extensive training program offers a great opportunity for those interested in prosecution and trial advocacy. These clerks get to work on trial preparation and presentation, interviewing of witnesses and victims, legal research and writing, evidence review and even conduct court appearances under certain circumstances.

Celebrating Success
Oregon Diversity Legal Job Fair Showing Results
"It is important for me as a first-generation Mexican-American to have the privilege of attending events that can further diversity within the field and I hope that the Oregon Diversity Legal Job Fair will continue on to help other young-adults reach their dreams."

Those are the words of Karen Casas who was recently hired by Davis Wright Tremaine, LLP after she attended the first-annual Oregon Diversity Legal Job Fair this past March.

Karen is not alone, several people were hired as a result of the fair and we love hearing these success stories.

DA Barton spearheaded the effort to launch the career fair. To learn more about how it works and to read additional testimonials from career seekers, please visit our website. 
Veterans Treatment Court Celebrates Four Graduations
We are happy to report the Veterans Treatment Court recently celebrated four graduations. Our congratulations to Douglas Wilson, Anthony Irwin, Elizabeth Gonzales and Paul Telford for successfully completing the program!

Each graduate served our country in the military but ran into legal problems after their time in the service. This program has helped them turn their lives around and reconnect with family and loved ones.

The Veterans Treatment Court is designed to help offenders whose honorable military service is somehow linked to their criminal conduct. This program wouldn't be possible without the support of Washington County, the Washington County Sheriff's Office, Washington County Community Corrections, Judge Charles Bailey, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Oregon Defense Attorney Consortium. 

In the Community
DA's Office Returns to In-Person Community Outreach
As we continue to recover from the pandemic, we are excited to return to in-person community outreach. We recently hosted a booth at the Hillsboro Tuesday Night Market and at the Washington County Fair. We enjoyed the opportunity to speak with community members and tell them more about our office.

We are also continuing our outreach to community groups who are still meeting remotely. District Attorney Barton recently gave a presentation to the Rotary Club of Tigard. He described the work we do to seek justice and protect our community.

Please contact us if you'd like to arrange a presentation from our office for your group or organization.
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