Featured Stories

Man charged with sex crimes granted pre-trial release

Jerrus Lumijarvi will stay on house arrest in St. Helens

A 20-year-old Clatskanie man charged with sexually assaulting a girl in her home and exposing himself to another child was granted pre-trial release from jail to stay at a pastor’s home in St. Helens.

SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: COURTNEY VAUGHN - Jerrus Lumijarvi, left, appears in Columbia Circuit Court alongside his attorney, Steve Sherlag, Monday afternoon, Feb. 29. Lumijarvi was granted pre-trial release and will stay on house arrest. Columbia Circuit Judge Ted Grove granted Jerrus Storm Lumijarvi release from the Columbia County Jail and permission to stay on house arrest at the home of pastor JB Stone on 1st Street in St. Helens.

Lumijarvi will be monitored electronically using a GPS tracking device. His bail was lowered from $390,000 to $50,000, at the request of his attorney, Steve Sherlag.

Lumijarvi was arrested Feb. 5 on charges of first-degree burglary, unlawful sexual penetration, sexual abuse, possessing sexually explicit material depicting minors, encouraging child sex abuse, coercion, private indecency and invasion of personal privacy. The arrest stemmed from a two-year investigation.

In December 2013, Lumijarvi was caught in a sting operation attempting to get sexual favors in exchange for sexually explicit photos of underage girls, according to the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office.

Investigators also reported that Lumijarvi assaulted a teen girl in 2013 after she had fallen asleep. He allegedly filmed the act, then sent a video recording of the incident to the girl. The same victim reported that, on another occasion, Lumijarvi gave her a drink and she fell asleep, but awoke to find him masturbating on top of her.

Another woman said Lumijarvi showed sexually explicit material of underage girls to her teen son, who is developmentally disabled. Lumijarvi also exposed himself to the boy, the Columbia County District Attorney’s Office alleges.

Prior to that, Lumijarvi was arraigned on similar charges that happened while he was a minor in 2011. The juvenile case was still pending while the 2013 incidents occurred, John Berg, prosecuting attorney for Columbia County, noted.

Annie Harrison said her family still faces harassment over those incidents five years ago. Her daughter, Josi Harrison, was 12 years old when she attended Clatskanie Middle/High School with Lumijarvi. She was in seventh grade. Lumijarvi was in high school. Josi Harrison said Lumijarvi tried to sexually assault her at a park.

She was one of a group of girls at the school who was coerced into sending nude photos of themselves to boys. Josi Harrison said once she sent one, she was pressured to send more photos, facing threats that her photo would be distributed if she didn't send more.

She and two other girls at the school alleged they were victims of harassment by the boys demanding nude photos. The girls eventually sued the district and settled out of court.

The incidents took a toll on Josi. The Harrisons ended up moving out of Clatskanie so Josi could attend a different school. She is now a senior in high school.

Josi and Annie Harrison attended the pre-trial release hearing Monday.

Josi has no relation to the current case involving Lumijarvi, but Annie Harrison said it was important for her and her daughter to attend, to give a voice to other potential victims.

“I think there is such a false sense of security with Jerrus Lumijarvi,” Annie Harrison said. “We felt that maybe Josi would get to see some justice through the court system. She feels like it failed her. We all feel like it failed her.”

Now, she said her daughter takes solace in “being a support system to the victims if possible.”

Grove granted Lumijarvi’s release, but ordered him to wear an electronic tracking device at all times. Lumijarvi won’t be allowed to use the Internet or have any phones with Internet capabilities.

Lumijarvi will stay at the home of his pastor, who is also his in-law. Lumijarvi’s sister is married to Stone’s son.

Berg raised concerns about the nature of Lumijarvi and Stone’s relationship, saying it could compromise Stone’s ability to objectively report any violations to the court.

“If you’re his pastor, wouldn’t you have a right and a duty to keep secret, the things that he confesses to you?” Berg asked Stone.

Stone said his Protestant faith does not mandate him to keep his conversations with Lumijarvi confidential.

Stone said he previously ran a halfway home for men in the 1970s and has experience with people recently released from jail.

“People get involved in all kinds of things, especially when they’re kids,” Stone said. “But that doesn’t mean you can’t outgrow that and mature yourself from that, especially with faith and love.”

Stone asked if Lumijarvi would be permitted to attend church with him on Sundays.

“I don’t want Mr. Lumijarvi to be off that property without the court being aware,” Grove said. “I’m probably not going to allow him to go to any community event where there are minors present.”

Berg noted that the jail had sufficient space to hold Lumijarvi until his trial.

Two of Lumijarvi’s charges are considered Measure 11 crimes, meaning he could face two mandatory prison sentences of more than eight years and more than six years for each charge.

This story has been corrected to indicate that Jerrus Lumijarvi was not the boy who demanded photos from Josi Harrison. He was implicated in a sexual assault against her.