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Sandy man indicted for sex abuse of young boys

Two pre-teens have been identified, but detectives believe there could be more


by: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO: CLACKAMAS COUNTY JAIL - RICHARD VERNON SMITHA man, who lives in a mobile home park east of Sandy, was arrested and booked into the Clackamas County Jail, accused of multiple incidents of first-degree sex abuse and sodomy with young boys.

Richard Vernon Smith, 52, Sandy, is being held on $500,000 bail. Clackamas County Sheriff’s detectives are hoping that, if there are more victims, those people will contact them to help them develop evidence.

Two boys in the single-digit age group already have been identified as Smith’s victims, but sheriff’s detectives believe there could be more. The sheriff’s child abuse team is conducting the investigation, said Sheriff’s Sgt. Robert Wurpes.

The child abuse team includes one sergeant and seven detectives, and is the only law-enforcement team in the county dedicated solely to keeping children safe.

“The investigation revealed,” Wurpes said, “that Richard Vernon Smith had allegedly sexually abused an 8-year-old boy not related to him while residing at the Big Foot Mobile Home Park in unincorporated Sandy.

After a Clackamas County grand jury reviewed the initial evidence, the grand jury indicted Smith on six counts of sexual abuse and sodomy against two different child victims.

But detectives believe there may be more victims of abuse by Smith, and are seeking tips from the public.

“If you or someone you know has any information about suspicious or questionable activity involving Richard Vernon Smith,” Wurpes said, “please contact the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office Tip-Line by calling 503-723-4949 or with the online form at clackamas.us/sheriff/forms/tip.html.”

On that online form, be certain to mention Clackamas County Sheriff's Office Case No. 2013-11972.

Local residents also can submit crime-tip text messages to the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office from a cell phone.

Send a text message to CRIMES (274637 on the keypad) with the keyword CCSO as the first word in the message body.

But do not send emergency messages using the text-messaging system, Wurpes said. In case of an emergency, call 9-1-1.