KATU confronts rape suspect after his second release with no bail
KATU confronted a rape suspect in Salem Wednesday after he was released from jail for the second time with no bail.
The suspect, Joseph Myers, 21, was arrested last year and charged with 16 felonies, including 12 counts of third-degree rape and one count of third-degree sodomy.
In a court document, a Keizer police detective says Myers met one of the four alleged victims, a girl who was 15 at the time of the initial crime, in a park after getting out of jail last year.
The detective says that violated Myers' release agreement and he was arrested on Monday.
Keizer police said they arrested Myers on Aug. 15, 2018 after officers interviewed multiple 14 to 15-year-old girls, some of them runaways. Investigators said some of them admitted to having an intimate relationship with Myers, who's also accused of giving them marijuana and a place to stay at his former home in Keizer.
After Myers' arrest, a judge set his bail at $160,000. But he was released on Aug. 20, 2018 with no bail due to overcrowding.
A KATU reporter confronted Myers Wednesday outside what authorities said is his new home in Salem, asking him about the case.
Myers said, "No comment," as other young men around him asked the reporter and a KATU photographer to leave.
Marion County Circuit Court Judge Channing Bennett said Myers moved to the Salem apartment without the court's permission, also violating last year's release agreement.
And a Keizer police detective says in a court document that one of the alleged victims, who KATU is calling "Lisa," had contact with Myers three times including meetings at Ben Miller Family Park.
"(Lisa) said Mr. Myers told her, 'No one can know,'" the detective writes, saying the girl spoke with Myers online through friends' accounts on Facebook Messenger.
"...He replied and told her about the no-contact order," the report says. "(Lisa) stated that the situation with Mr. Myers was 'going on long enough' and that he was still hanging out with minors."
On Tuesday, Marion County Deputy District Attorney Emily Palmer asked Judge Bennett not to release Myers.
"The victim, (Lisa), was reached by our victim advocate and indicated that she doesn't believe the defendant should be released," Palmer said.
But Bennett still let Myers go with no bail.
"I'm going to give you another shot. And I'm gonna impose some conditions. Here it is: you're not going to have any contact with minors," Bennett told Myers during a court hearing. "Don't come even close to violating the terms. There will also be the standard: no alcohol, no drugs, no marijuana."
Bennett said the only minors Myers could be around would be his brothers.
The Marion County District Attorney's Office has not filed any additional charges but police said the case is still under investigation.
Myers has a previous criminal record. He pleaded guilty to DUII in 2016 before entering a diversion program.
Lisa is not the name of the alleged victim mentioned in the detective's report. Because she is a minor and an alleged sex crime victim KATU is not revealing her real name.