Today, the Klamath County District Attorney’s Office announced that 37-year-old Thomas Ortiz received a 32-year prison sentence for raping a child and committing numerous other sex crimes against a child over a period of several years beginning when she was approximately eight years old.
“Mr. Ortiz sexually and physically abused the victim for a significant portion of her young life,” said Sr. Assistant Attorney General John Casalino, who prosecuted this case. “This young adult showcased her strength and incredible courage by speaking up and coming forward. She has made our community a safer place.”
The investigation began on December 7, 2022. On February 1, 2023, the defendant appeared in front of The Honorable Judge Marci Adkisson and pleaded guilty to several charges including Rape in the First Degree, Strangulation, Sexual Abuse in the First Degree, Sodomy in the First Degree and Unlawful Sexual Penetration in the First Degree.
The Klamath County District Attorney’sOffice would like to recognize members of the Klamath Falls Police Department, including the patrol officers whoresponded to the 9-1-1 call, the lead investigator, Detective Labeads Yahwhee, Oregon Department of Human Services, Klamath-Lake CARES staff, and otherorganizations for their dedicated and expert efforts assisting throughout this case.
It was through the coordination, communication and collaboration of the Klamath County Multidisciplinary Child Abuse Team that this case was investigated and prosecuted. The Multidisciplinary Child Abuse Team includes representatives from local law enforcement, the District Attorney’s Office, public schools, Klamath Basin Behavioral Health, the Klamath County Juvenile Department, Klamath County Public Health, the Klamath Tribes, Klamath Advocacy Center, Oregon Youth Authority,and the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS).
Klamath-Lake CARES, Klamath County’s child abuse assessment center, is a community-based medical program for the assessment, treatment and prevention of child abuse. The organization serves more than 300 local children annually.
The Klamath County District Attorney’s Office recognizes Director of Victim Services, Dava Leslie, for her tireless commitment to supporting the victimthroughout the criminal justice process.
The Klamath County District Attorney’s office is currently being managed by Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, through Senior Assistant Attorney General John Casalino of the Criminal Justice Division of the Oregon Department of Justice. The Criminal Justice Division provides investigation, prosecution, training and legal services to support Oregon’s District Attorney offices and law enforcement agencies. Assistants Attorney Generals from this Division travel to local communities and prosecute crimes throughout Oregon to make all Oregon counties safer.