Woman outraged that sex offender neighbor not on public database
BEAVERTON, Ore. - When a woman found out a convicted rapist lives right next door to her, she became outraged and terrified.
"I find it disturbing and frankly disgusting," the woman told KATU News under the condition of anonymity.
There are 25,000 convicted sex offenders in Oregon. Of those 25,000 offenders, more than 23,000 get to live mostly private lives. You won't find their names or addresses in any public database.
The man the woman is concerned about is Donald Tornquist. In Washington 20 years ago, he assaulted and raped a child under 12 years old. He pled guilty, served a decade in prison and registered as a sex offender.
When Tornquist lived in Washington, you could find him listed in the sex offender database. When he moved to Oregon, he registered with police but you'll find no trace of him on the state police sex offender website.
"I don't want to burn the man at the stake by any means," the woman told KATU. "This is not a witch hunt for me or for his neighbors. This is a sense of security."
The woman said she found out Tornquist was a registered sex offender after another neighbor of hers told her what she found out about Tornquist.
"She told me that she got his license plate and looked it up. She got his full name and she Googled him, and it was right there," the woman said. "And she realized that a predator was living next to her and her children."
Like 95 percent of other convicted sex offenders in the state, Tornquist's name isn't searchable on the public database. State law says only "predatory sex offenders" get added to the public database. They are criminals with a "tendency to victimize or injure others."
But that group is tiny and makes up only 5 percent of the registered sex offender population in the state.
The woman who spoke to KATU said she feels the laws need to change.
A sex offender gets the "predatory" label from police, corrections and the parole board.
Tornquist declined to be interviewed for his story.
To find out if a person, who is not listed on the public registry, is a sex offender, you have to call state police.
In a few years there will be a new classification system for sex offenders in Oregon. Right now they're all grouped together. But a law passed in this past legislative session created a tiered system.
A Level One offender, under the new system, is least likely to re-offend. They could get off the list within 5 years of completing their sentence.
A second tier offender is a moderate risk and can petition to be reclassified after a decade.
The most dangerous predators are Level Three and are most likely to re-offend. They'll have to register and report for the rest of their lives.
The system must be in place by the end of 2016.