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Former Milton-Freewater man guilty of sex abuse, rape

Kenneth Eugene Christopher gets 29 years in prison
Phil Wright

East Oregonian

Published on July 17, 2018 4:05PM

Last changed on July 17, 2018 4:08PM

Kenneth Eugene Christopher

Kenneth Eugene Christopher


Umatilla County jurors last week convicted a former Milton-Freewater man of raping his stepdaughter for years.

Now Kenneth Eugene Christopher, 49, will serve almost three decades in prison for his crimes.

Christopher pleaded not guilty to 30 counts of sex crimes, including four of first-degree rape, five of first-degree sexual abuse and four of first-degree sodomy. The district attorney’s office accused Christopher of molesting and sexually assaulting two victims, according to court records, in 2009 and 2010 in Milton-Freewater.

Christopher’s trial was July 9 and 10, and the state at the start dropped all but nine counts — five of first-degree sexual abuse and four of first-degree rape. The remaining charges related to the one victim who came to Pendleton to take the witness stand.

She is 22 now, according to sentencing memo from prosecutor Jaclyn Jenkins, and testified she was 13 the first time Christopher molested her and 14 the first time he raped her. She told the jury she did not believe she could say no to Christopher because he was violent and threatened to harm her animals and tear apart the family.

From then and until she was 19, according to Jenkins’ memo, Christopher “had persistent and consistent sexual contact” with the girl.

Christopher on July 10 sought to move the case, court documents show, arguing he could not get a fair trial in Umatilla County. The jury that same day found Christopher guilty on all nine counts.

First-degree rape in Oregon carries a mandatory minimum sentence of eight years, four months, and first-degree sexual abuse carries a mandatory minimum of six years, three months. Jenkins in the memo asked the court to put Christopher in state prison for a total of 45 years, 10 months.

Circuit Judge Jon Lieuallen, according to court documents, found Christopher deserving of a little more than 29 years. Lieuallen handed down the sentence Friday.

Christopher has been in the Umatilla County Jail, Pendleton, since May 3, 2017, making him the jail’s current longest-term inmate. After he departs for prison, that title shifts to Tyree Quaddray Houfmuse, 36, who has been behind bars since June 12, 2017. Houfmuse faces a murder charge and more for the shooting death of James Cragun last Memorial Day weekend.



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