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Three More Oregon cops Fall on Sex Charges; Protect and Serve, Just Not Kids

Three more names can be added to the long list of Oregon law enforcement officials who are caught engaging in sexual misconduct involving minors.

On September 19, 2007, Brian Ferguson, a 7-year veteran of the Florence, Oregon Police Department was sentenced to three years of probation, after pleading guilty to sex abuse. Ferguson resigned in April 2007, after an internal investigation found that he had an inappropriate relationship with a 16-year-old girl. Acting on a tip, police went to the girl’s home. Through a window, Ferguson and the girl were seen alone on the living room floor, according to Lane County chief deputy district attorney Alex Gardner. Ferguson surrendered his police certification, will undergo a sex offender evaluation and must register as a sex offender.

Similarly, in October 2007, Salem Oregon, police officer Sterling Alexander, 40, was sentenced to 90 days in jail and a five year term for sexual abuse and official misconduct. The charges stemmed from his sexual abuse of a 17-year-old girl he met on duty in 2003, and receiving oral sex from a city employee during a 2004 ride-along. The judge imposed less time than prosecutors requested, because of Alexander’s participation in Christian ministry and youth outreach. He also must register as a sex offender.

On October 22, 2007, Robert Gordon Smith, 37, an 11-year-veteran of the Clatsop County, Oregon, sheriff’s office resigned. Later that day he was charged with 30 counts of encouraging child sexual abuse. Smith had been suspended since May 2007, when he became the focus of a state police investigation of his inappropriate contact with a high school student in 2002. Clatsop County District Attorney Joshua Marquis said the charges relate only to possession of child pornography. “He is not charged with any conduct involving inappropriate behavior with anybody,” said Marquis. Apparently, he is not being charged for his “inappropriate contact” with the highschool student, for reasons that are not clear.

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