A man with close ties to a Prineville church was arrested last week on charges of sexually abusing a Washington County girl.
>A Prineville man who has worked with kids at a local church youth program has been charged with sex crimes involving a 15-year-old Washington County girl
Friday afternoon, Shawn Joseph Perrin, 36, 4440 SE Jerry Drive, was arrested at his home by detectives from the Clackamas County Sheriff's Major Crimes Unit. Perrin was transported to the Clackamas County jail on charges of engaging in a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old Washington County girl. The incident allegedly took place in the Mt. Hood recreational area earlier this year.
The charges Perrin has been accused of include seven counts of third degree sex abuse, two counts of second degree sodomy and two counts of third degree rape. Perrin was lodged at the jail and bail was set at $112,500.
The investigation was a multi-agency effort, and consisted of the Washington County Sheriff's office, Crook County Sheriff's office, Prineville Police Department and Oregon State Police. Search warrants were served at both Perrin's residence and at the Les Schwab Tire Center warehouse, where Perrin was employed.
The accused has a criminal history in Crook County dating back more than ten years. District Attorney Gary Williams said he could not comment on Perrin's arrest last week or that case, but he could recount two cases from 10 or 11 years ago.
Starting with a conviction of first degree burglary in 1984, Perrin's next conviction was for contributing to the sexual delinquency of a minor in 1989. A misdemeanor, that charge was dismissed by the court pursuant to a guilty plea of felon in possession of a firearm. Perrin's possession of a sawed-off shotgun added another felony conviction to his record.
A third felony conviction was handed down in January, 1990, when he was found guilty of third degree rape involving a 15-year-old victim. Williams explained that third degree rape, a felony, is charged when the victim is 15 or older. Even as a registered sex offender, Perrin has been involved with youth activities at Prineville's First Baptist Church where he ran the Awanas Program. According to the Clackamas County Sheriff's office, the victim met Perrin at an Awanas Camp held at the Canby Grove Conference Center in the summer of 2000. Perrin was a camp counselor at the camp at the time.
During the next few months, Perrin is said to have used email to stay in contact with the girl.
The victim's parents, concerned about the relationship, recently contacted the Washington County Sheriff's office and an investigation was started.
Sheriff's deputies are worried that there might be more victims that Perrin has targeted. Perrin was convicted of a rape charge in Crook County in 1990 and has been a registered sex offender since November of that year.
Clackamas officials are concerned about the possibility of similar cases involving Perrin and other young girls. They have forwarded the results of their investigation to district attorneys in Washington, Multnomah, Marion and Hood River counties for potential additional victims in those jurisdiction.
The Awanas Program is an international organization that provides Christian clubs and program for young people. Awanas camps are conducted by local Awanas employees or missionaries and also have camp counselors.
Apparently Perrin has been involved in the Awanas Program at the Prineville's First Baptist Church. Dean Gertner, who oversees the program, told officers that he was aware of Perrin)s rape conviction but said he felt comfortable with Perrin)s position at the church.
Crook County Sheriff's deputy Frank Avey said Perrin was also manager of the church's weight room, popularly known as "The Rock." He would have lots of contact with lots of young boys and girls there, Avey pointed out.
"Churches that do not require a background check are endangering the safety and welfare of the children," Avey said, his voice packed with emotion. "In a county our size, this kind of thing should not happen and it has to be stopped."
Investigators are asking anyone with information or dealings with Perrin to contact Detective Randy Harris with the Clackamas County Sheriff's office at 503-655-8218.