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Salem man sentenced to prison for sex abuse

Salem man sentenced to prison for sex abuse

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Neil Arnold III

Neil Arnold III

A Salem man was sentenced to 4½ years in the custody of the Oregon Department of Corrections for sex crimes during a hearing on Wednesday morning in Linn County Circuit Court.

Neil Dwayne Arnold III, 20, pleaded guilty earlier this month as part of a negotiated settlement to two counts of first-degree sex abuse. The crimes were by forcible compulsion.

“This is someone we need to protect our community from for as long as we can,” said prosecutor Michael Paul.

Arnold was between the age of 12 and 13 when he committed the crimes, so he wasn’t subject to Measure 11, Oregon’s mandatory minimum sentencing law, Paul said. Conduct before Arnold was younger than 12 wasn’t charged, but the sexual abuse occurred about 20 to 30 times over the course of years, Paul added.

The victim was a younger girl whom Arnold knew. Paul said that the victim bore the brunt of the abuse from Arnold to try and protect her sister from being molested.

The victim told a relative about the crimes in 2019. The Linn County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case, and Arnold was initially arraigned in August.

“Other victims are not part of these negotiations,” Paul informed Judge David Delsman. “Those charges could be potentially out there.”

Paul said that Arnold could be a violent individual at a young age; at one point in 2012, the LCSO was called to his residence because he threatened to kill all of his family members.

Four other sex crimes charges were dismissed as part of the plea deal.

Defense attorney Arnold Poole said that Arnold had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and a conduct disorder. “I fully agree that he’s a very troubled individual and a very troubled young man,” Poole said.

“I’ve made the wrong decisions in the past,” Arnold told Delsman.

And those decisions continued in jail, Paul said. He alleged that Arnold bragged about his crimes and misbehaved in a grossly inappropriately way toward a female deputy while in custody.

“I feel like I haven’t really been properly treated in the jail system,” Arnold responded. “I didn’t do the things that they’re saying.”

Kyle Odegard can be contacted at 541-812-6077 or kyle.odegard@lee.net.

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