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Jury finds pair guilty of kidnap of girl, 12

Not guilty of second-degree rape

by: Submitted photo - Brian Scott Mohr

After three full days of testimony, on Aug. 16, a man and his former girlfriend were found guilty of the kidnapping of a 12-year-old girl in June 2011.
   A 12-person jury found Brian Scott Mohr, 23, of Salem, and Kristen Nicole Jacobs, 20, of Federal Way, Wash., guilty of second-degree kidnapping, but not guilty of second-degree rape.
   According to the arrest affadavit and testimony presented at the trial, Mohr and Jacobs picked the girl up in Salem on June 24, 2011, and planned to head to California. The girl's parents filed a missing person/runaway report.
   The pair ultimately took the girl, who had known Jacobs most of her life, to Crooked River Ranch, where they pitched a tent outside the home of a relative of Mohr.
   The two were reported to have introduced the girl (who will not be identified) as Mohr's 18-year-old girlfriend, and Jacobs as his ex-girlfriend. Jacobs is related to the girl's stepmother.
   A resident of Crooked River Ranch was concerned that the girl was not as old as Mohr and Jacobs said, and reported the situation to the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office on June 28, 2011. A deputy from the sheriff's office went to the Ranch and found the girl in the company of Mohr and Jacobs, and returned her to her family in Salem.
   When it was determined that the girl had been taken without her parents' consent, and the girl said that she had sex with Mohr while they were at Crooked River Ranch, a grand jury indicted Mohr and Jacobs on charges of second-degree rape, and second-degree kidnapping.
   In her closing arguments, Sheryl Blackman, chief deputy district attorney, advised the jurors, that even if the girl said she was in love with Mohr, "If Brian Mohr had sex with a 12-year-old girl, it's rape."
   Contradicting the defendants' attorneys contentions that the girl had lied and couldn't be believed, Blackman said that the victim's story had changed because she had been protecting Mohr.
   "She sat there and admitted she lied to the detective," said Blackman. "A 12-year-old girl is not able to discern that these folks don't give a whip about her."
   Representing Mohr, Attorney Jennifer Kimble, of Prineville, suggested that Mohr had only lied to help the girl run away. "Mr. Mohr told her every single day that he would take her home if she wanted to," said Kimble, noting that the girl's story about her relationship with Mohr was inconsistent.
   Attorney Shanon Gray, of Portland, who represented Jacobs, said that the girl craved attention and had focused on "this imaginary relationship."
   Gray said Jacobs had known the girl since she was 3 years old, and had no reason to set Mohr up with the girl. "It doesn't make sense, because it didn't happen," he said.
   As a defense to the kidnapping charge, he said that their sole purpose in taking the girl was to assume control of the girl for her own protection.
   When the jury's decision was read, Mohr sat stoically, and Jacobs cried, and kept glancing back at family members.
   The judge denied requests by Kimble and Gray to have the defendants released pending a presentence report. Mohr and Jacobs were lodged in the Jefferson County Correctional Facility to await the report on the charge -- a Measure 11 crime which may be subject to a mandatory minimum of five years and 10 months.
   Sentencing by Circuit Court Judge Gary Thompson, pro tem, who presided over the trial, is scheduled for Sept. 21.