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Washington County Agencies Announce Opening of Digital Forensics Laboratory - 04/19/18

HILLSBORO, Ore. – The Washington County District Attorney’s Office is proud to join with our partners in announcing the official opening of the Washington County Digital Forensic Laboratory (WCDFL). The WCDFL is a partnership of multiple agencies, including the Washington County DA’s Office, Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Washington County Community Corrections, Hillsboro Police Department, and Beaverton Police.

Over the past several years, participating agencies have worked collaboratively to develop a jointly operated digital lab that will help police officers and prosecutors gather computer and digital evidence in criminal investigations and ultimately help our community obtain more timely justice. With this new resource investigators will obtain evidence more quickly and prosecutors will develop stronger cases. The WCDLF will also allow probation officers to better supervise offenders and hold them accountable to conditions of supervision.

The WCDLF will provide significant assistance in investigations of crimes against vulnerable victims and crimes that threaten community safety. These crimes include child abuse, elder abuse, financial fraud and identity theft, domestic violence, home burglaries, and sexual assault cases. In the current digital age, digital “footprints” can be present in any crime. A digital device often provides key evidence to corroborate the statement of a crime victim, show a suspect’s state of mind or location, and even prevent future crimes. Recent examples of successful investigations involving digital evidence include a child sex trafficking case where the defendant used a cell phone to sexually exploit a teenage girl; in another case, digital evidence revealed the defendant’s plan to murder her victims; in another case, digital evidence revealed where a defendant was storing child pornography in the cloud; and of course, the list goes on.

This jointly operated digital lab is designed to serve all Washington County residents and law enforcement agencies. The immediate benefits to our community include increased access to digital forensic services and fiscal responsibility. The high cost of digital forensics equipment and training has often been a challenge to individual police agencies equipping digital forensic labs.  The WCDFL combines resources to avoid the unnecessary duplication of forensics tools and share operational costs among several agencies. Additionally, Washington County communities that previously could not afford digital forensics tools will now have access to state-of-the-art equipment purchased by larger police agencies.

An additional benefit to our community is that investigators assigned to the WCDFL have expertise in examining and analyzing both mobile devices, such as cell phones and tablets, and computers, including desktops and laptops. These specialists will be an asset to investigations concerning a wide variety of offenses. Further, they will be available to collect and preserve digital evidence from crime scenes and provide investigators all across Washington County with expert knowledge and analysis.

Finally, we want to recognize Washington County Facilities and Information Technology Services for their hard work in helping to make the physical lab a reality. These teams deserve high praise and recognition for their hard work in building the WCDFL quickly and with minimal cost to taxpayers


Attached Media Files: News release , News release - pdf
Booking photo
Booking photo
Wyoming Man Sentenced to 5 Years for 10th Duii (Photo) - 04/12/18

On Thursday, April 12, 2018, Washington County Circuit Court Judge Andy Erwin sentenced 50 year-old Andrew Mascarenas of Cheyenne, Wyoming, to the maximum 60 months in prison for his tenth conviction for Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants. Mascarenas, who served 21-24 months in prison on his last DUII, appeared in the custody of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office after a jury found him guilty of Felony DUII and Reckless Driving the day before.

These charges stemmed from an incident in the early morning hours of January 14, 2018. Mascarenas left The Dolphin strip club at approximately 2:30am driving a black Nissan Altima. Deputy Gary Upton of the WCSO pulled him over after Mascarenas drove the wrong way down Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway, crossed over the concrete center median divider, and nearly struck another vehicle that was forced to swerve out of the way. Mascarenas claimed to have only had “two beers” during his 5 ½ hours at The Dolphin, but still said that he “drank too much” and admitted that he should not have been driving. Mascarenas refused to take field sobriety tests or a breath test.

At trial the defense claimed that Mascarenas had not been under the influence of alcohol but rather in the midst of a diabetic episode. Jail medical staff had determined his blood sugar was abnormally high the morning of the arrest, but at the time Mascarenas said that was normal for him and higher blood sugar actually makes him feel better. The defense attempted to walk back Mascarenas’ earlier comments about his diabetes and intoxication, arguing that at the time he did not understand what was happening in his own body. The jury rejected these claims and convicted him of all counts.   

At sentencing DDA Tucker Rossetto listed the nine DUIIs Mascarenas committed between 1990 and 2012, and discussed the great danger he presents to the community. Judge Erwin agreed, and explained that given the defendant’s history his sentence must prioritize public safety and the need to keep him away from alcohol and vehicles as long as possible. Mascarenas faces immediate transfer to the Oregon Department of Corrections.

Attached Media Files: News Release , Booking photo
Washington County Family Justice Center Grand Opening! - 04/10/18

This Thursday, April 12, 2018, the Family Justice Center of Washington County will hold a Grand Opening Ceremony at its brand new facility in Beaverton. Years of work have finally brought public and non-profit victim service providers together under one roof to offer domestic violence victims and their children a full range of comprehensive and compassionate assistance. Members of the public and media are invited to attend this exciting event and learn how the FJC will help victims and work to end the cycle of domestic violence in Washington County.  

The Washington County DA’s Office proudly joins with other business and civic leaders in welcoming the FJC to our community. The facility is located at 735 SW 158th Ave, Suite 100, Beaverton, OR 97006. The ribbon cutting is scheduled for 4:15pm, followed by tours of the facility and the opportunity to meet service providers and sponsors until 7:00pm.

Attached Media Files: News release , FJC Grand Opening Flyer
Sex Trafficking Task Force Awarded Federal Grant to Help Child Victims - 03/30/18

HILLSBORO, Ore. – The Washington County DA’s Office joins with the Washington County Child Abuse Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) and Safety Compass in proudly announcing a new partnership to help victims and survivors of child sex trafficking.

On March 29, 2018, Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum finalized the award of a Federal Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) grant to the Washington County Child Sex Trafficking Task Force. This grant will support ongoing efforts to combat child sex trafficking by funding Safety Compass services in Washington County.  Safety Compass is a non-profit organization that provides culturally specific advocacy services for victims and survivors of commercial sexual exploitation.  Safety Compass currently operates in Marion and Clackamas counties, and this new VOCA grant will allow Safety Compass to expand to provide trauma-informed and confidential advocacy services to victims and survivors of sex trafficking in Washington County.

Child sex trafficking is an increasing problem throughout Oregon.  These cases are difficult to investigate and prosecute. The Washington County DA’s Office and Washington County Child Abuse MDT have long worked with community partners to combat child sex trafficking.  This new partnership with Safety Compass will enhance services for these vulnerable victims and survivors.

The Washington County Human Trafficking Task Force is a subcommittee of the Child Abuse MDT.  Led by the DA’s Office, the Human Trafficking Task Force includes Washington County law enforcement agencies, Safety Compass, DHS, the FBI Child Exploitation Task Force, Washington County Juvenile Department, and CARES NW.  The purpose of the Task Force is to coordinate sex trafficking investigations and prosecutions in Washington County while ensuring victims and survivors receive trauma-informed advocacy services.   

Attached Media Files: News release