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Thursday, September 28, 2023
Sept. 28, 2023

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Former Beaverton police officer found guilty of child rape

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Former Beaverton police Officer Christopher Warren listens as a Clark County jury finds him guilty of first-degree child rape.
Former Beaverton police Officer Christopher Warren listens as a Clark County jury finds him guilty of first-degree child rape. Photo Gallery

A Clark County jury has found former Beaverton, Ore., police Officer Christopher Warren guilty of raping a 5-year-old girl at his central Vancouver home.

Warren, 34, did not show emotion Friday during the reading of the verdict on a charge of first-degree child rape. His wife and other family members and friends were in the courtroom’s public gallery.

Superior Court Judge Barbara Johnson remanded him into the custody of the Clark County Jail. A corrections officer escorted him out of the courthouse.

The jurors reached the unanimous verdict after about 6 1/2 hours of deliberation. Testimony started early Tuesday and concluded at the close of the business day Thursday.

Jurors declined to comment on their decision as they filed out of Johnson’s courtroom.

A hearing to sentence Warren has not yet been scheduled. Johnson ordered a presentence investigation report and set a Dec. 9 hearing to review the progress of the report and possibly schedule a sentencing date.

Warren’s attorney, Louis Byrd Jr., said he could not comment on whether Warren plans to appeal his conviction.

The victim, who is now 6, took the stand during the trial and testified that Warren inserted a pencil in her genital area.

She said the pencil felt “kind of weird, and it hurt for a second.”

During closing arguments, Byrd said that Warren’s ex-wife, Dina Sanchez, coached the little girl into making the allegations because she was bitter over Warren’s decision to divorce her and to be with another woman.

Warren had recently been engaged to the other woman, Meliah Colon, at the time the allegations were made.

“Just when your enemy is about to reap the reward of the pain he has inflicted on you — a new wife, a new family — that’s when you extract the planned revenge,” Byrd argued Thursday. “That’s exactly what happened here. Christopher Warren is innocent.”

Senior Deputy Prosecutor Camara Banfield said there was no evidence that the allegations were an act of revenge. She said the girl’s story remained consistent throughout the investigation, including when investigators interviewed her at Clark County Children’s Justice Center and when she met with her doctor.

Footage of the interview at the Children’s Justice Center was played for the jury during the trial.

Dr. Kimberly Copeland of the Legacy Health system also testified that she examined the girl about four to six weeks after the alleged sexual abuse. There was no evidence of an injury, she said. However, the girl told the doctor that “it hurt when I went potty one time,” according to an audio recording played in court.

Warren is no longer employed by the Beaverton Police Department.

He was twice terminated from the Beaverton force.

He was initially fired in 2011 after an internal investigation found that he had lied during a 2009 criminal investigation into allegations that he sexually abused a minor when he was 17, according to The Oregonian. Investigators concluded that there was probable cause to believe Warren committed the offenses, but he was not prosecuted because the alleged victim declined to cooperate, according to the newspaper. The jury in this week’s trial did not hear about those allegations.

He was later reinstated to his job but was terminated again in August 2013 after he was indicted on charges of welfare fraud in Washington County, Ore., The Oregonian reported.

He was found guilty in February of unlawfully obtaining food stamps and first-degree theft for seeking and accepting Oregon welfare benefits while he was a resident of Washington. He was sentenced to 10 days in jail, two years of probation, 100 hours of community service and $3,000 in restitution.