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Clatskanie man arrested for sex abuse

A 79-year-old Clatskanie man was arrested Wednesday, June 29 for sex crimes years ago involving at least one young girl.

CLINEKarl Cline of Clatskanie faces two counts of first degree sodomy, two counts of unlawful sexual penetration, seven counts of first degree sexual abuse and one count of attempted sexual abuse, after two victims testified against Cline before a grand jury in Columbia Circuit Court Thursday, June 23.

Investigators made the arrest after following up on a tip from a high school resource officer in Clackamas County, who advised that a female student disclosed the abuse from 2010, a Columbia County Sheriff's Office news release states.

Cline was first interviewed about alleged sexual abuse back in 2010, when one of the victims, who lived in Clatskanie at the time, reported that Cline exposed himself to her. She was 12 at the time.

A forensic interview was done, but it didn't yield enough evidence to bring charges against Cline.

A new case was opened last October, when the school police resource officer learned of more details about the abuse, according to the Sheriff's Office. Cline was interviewed again in March, but not arrested until Wednesday, June 29, when he was taken into custody from his home in the 19000 block of Shepard Road without incident.

Investigators believe additional criminal charges may be brought against the man as more evidence is gathered from his home.

Cline is being held in Columbia County Jail on $540,000.

Anyone with information about this case or Cline is invited to call the Sheriff's Office citizen report line at (503) 366-4698.

This story has been updated with new information.