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John Birman

John Birman

A Redmond man was charged with 21 sex crimes involving three victims in Linn County Circuit Court on Monday afternoon.

John Edward Birman, 70, was indicted on charges of five counts of first-degree sodomy, two counts of first-degree rape, one count of first-degree unlawful sexual penetration, six counts of first-degree sexual abuse, two counts of second-degree sodomy, one count of second-degree rape, one count of third-degree rape and three counts of third-degree sodomy.

Birman pleaded not guilty to all of the charges during the hearing.

Judge Daniel Murphy set Birman’s security at $250,000, as requested by the prosecution. Murphy cited the sheer number of charges and their seriousness in setting bail.

Some of the crimes are Jessica’s Law charges, which bring a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years in prison.

Defense attorney Tyler Reid had asked for $50,000 security, saying that was a more reasonable amount that Birman could potentially afford. He said that he would potentially address the bail again in the future.

Murphy appointed attorney Sarah Ferguson to assist Reid in the case.

Oregon courts are now assigning two defense attorneys in Jessica’s Law mattes due to the seriousness and potential lengthy sentences, said Prosecutor Johnathan Crow, who handled the brief arraignment for the Linn County District Attorney’s Office.

Birman appeared via videoconference from the Linn County Jail.

The crimes in the case allegedly occurred between 2011 and October 2014, and the victims were adolescent or teen females, according to court documents. Two of the victims were younger than 12 when some of the crimes were allegedly committed.

The charging document lists numerous locations in Sweet Home and a Lebanon residence as the site of the crimes.

A secret indictment regarding Birman was returned by a grand jury on Dec. 14, court records indicate.

The next hearing in the case was scheduled for Jan. 29.

Democrat-Herald archives indicate that Birman grew up in Sweet Home.

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


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