Richard Conklin

Richard Conklin

A jury found a Lacomb-area man guilty of sex crimes on Friday in Linn County Circuit Court.

Richard Wade Conklin, 80, was convicted of three counts of first-degree sex abuse, first-degree sodomy and first-degree unlawful sexual penetration at the conclusion of his three-day trial.

“Everything he was convicted of is Measure 11,” said Prosecutor Keith Stein.

Measure 11  crimes carry mandatory minimum sentences, and the least amount of prison time Conklin could serve for just one of the charges is more than 8 years, according to Oregon law. The sentence could be longer if the prison time for each conviction is consecutive, rather than concurrent.

His sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 2.

Conklin abused a developmentally delayed adult female. He and the victim knew each other.

“I’m very proud of the Lebanon Jehovah’s Witness congregation for all the support of the victim, and for their referring charges to police. These are good people,” Stein said.

The Linn County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest in the case in January 2016, when the victim was 28. According to a probable cause affidavit in the case, deputies began investigating after the woman’s parents found a three-year-old note she wrote that claimed that Conklin was her boyfriend and described sexual acts.

The victim told deputies that “Conklin would call her on the phone to see if she was alone before coming over to see her,” the PC affidavit states. The woman also said that Conklin would instruct her not to tell anyone of the things they did.

The victim told investigators that Conklin would give her jewelry and rocks, and the Sheriff’s Office seized about 60 pieces of jewelry from the victim as part of the investigation, according to the PC affidavit.

In the wake of his arrest, Conklin admitted to engaging in sexual acts with the victim starting several years prior, and said that he did so because the victim was interested in learning about sex, the PC affidavit states.

A charge of first-degree sex abuse was dismissed during the trial by Judge Fay Stetz-Waters, and Conklin also was acquitted of another charge of first-degree sex abuse.

Kyle Odegard can be reached at kyle.odegard@lee.net, 541-812-6077 or via Twitter @KyleOdegard.

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