Rape victim slams state as repeat sex offender sentenced to seven life sentences

Alberto Baez Jr., 47, stands up in a Marion County courtroom after a judge sentenced him to seven life sentences.

A rape victim talked exclusively with KATU Wednesday before a judge sentenced the repeat sex offender who raped her to seven life sentences.

She said the case exposes serious problems with Oregon's sex offender registry.

"It was pure torture. He terrorized me in that room," the victim, Trisha, explained. She did not want to publicly reveal her last name.

Oregon lawmakers ordered the state's sex offender registry to be overhauled six years ago. Since then they've pushed back two deadlines for the project to be completed.

Oregon's Parole and Post-Prison Supervision Board requested a new bill that would push back the deadline again, saying the agency doesn't have enough resources to get the job done on time. It initially aimed to do away with any deadline, but it's since changed.

Trisha, meanwhile, is outraged a delay to overhauling this system is even being considered.

A KATU reporter asked her what she wanted the court to know before Alberto Baez Jr.'s sentencing in Salem.

"It was horrible," she said. "I want them to know that I want him to be punished for what he did."

A Marion County judge sentenced Baez to seven life sentences. The 47-year-old repeat sex offender was convicted of multiple counts of rape, sex abuse and encouraging child sex abuse.

Last year he was sentenced to around 40 years in prison for repeatedly beating and burning Trisha, leaving her hand scarred from abuse. Baez has pleaded not guilty to charges including unlawful sexual penetration, second-degree kidnapping, menacing and strangulation in another case involving Trisha in Lane County.

The prosecutor in the case Baez was sentenced for Wednesday says there are other victims.

"The defendant's torture and victimization of vulnerable young women has been persistent throughout his adult life," Marion County Deputy District Attorney Katie Suver wrote in a court document regarding Baez's past.

"The previous actions are showing a pattern of violence, physical, mental, emotional abuse," Trisha explained.

She said she started dating Baez in February 2016.

"He was charming and intelligent, all those things. And I stayed with him," Trisha, a mother of two girls, told a KATU reporter.

After Baez's ex-wife told Trisha he was a sex offender Trisha said she checked Oregon's public sex offender registry and he wasn't on it.

What Trisha didn't know is Baez, who the state's parole board labeled a predator, was convicted of second-degree sex abuse in 1994 and third-degree rape in 2008.

He was put on the public sex offender website in 2010 but taken off the next year.

In June 2016, as part of the state parole board's re-classification effort, it put Baez back on the public website. But by then Trisha said it was too late.

"There's many times where he choked me out to unconsciousness and he would rape me and he made me reenact a past rape," she explained. "He would drug me. He would choke me out. He would physically abuse me. And it just got to that place where I was so beaten and broken down that I did whatever he told me to do. And sometimes it was unwilling."

Oregon's parole board is now reclassifying sex offenders into a three-level system that lawmakers ordered in 2013. As part of the effort, many predators like Baez are already supposed to be re-classified as level three, the most likely to re-offend, and put on the public website.

The project is supposed to be done by Dec. 1, 2022 but the new bill would push the deadline back to Dec. 1, 2026. The measure, House Bill 2045, was passed by the state House of Representatives last month and has since been referred to the state Senate Judiciary Committee.

Trisha hopes it doesn't pass.

"I feel like it's unjust," she said. "I just hope that they can keep the registry up to date so nobody else has to go through what I went through."

Oregon is home to the most sex offenders per capita in the U.S. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children says there are currently 679 sex offenders per every 100,000 people in the state. The group says the national average is 274 per 100,000.

Due to complex legal requirements Oregon’s public sex offender website currently only lists about 2.4 percent of the state’s nearly 31,000 registered sex offenders, a percentage that's far below neighboring states.

In testimony before Oregon's House Judiciary Committee, the parole board said as of February its seven assessment specialists had only reclassified 4,585 of the state's sex offenders into a level.

"In order to meet the deadline, the board would need to hire additional 30 staff at a cost of approximately $11,081,466," the board said in a document shown to legislators. "This does not include office space and equipment. In addition, with a tight labor market, it would be difficult to fill 30 positions."

Oregon State Police said as of February 918 sex offenders designated as predatory had not yet been classified into a risk level and were not posted on the public website.



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