Yamhill Co. Sheriff's Office
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News Releases
Child Safety Belts and Restraints - 02/11/19

Sheriff Tim Svenson of the Yamhill County Sheriff's Office announced today that his office will join with other law enforcement agencies state wide February 11th to February 18th, 2019 to encourage the use of safety belts and child restraints as the simplest and most effective way to prevent crash related injuries and fatalities.  With the warmer weather and the longer days, traffic is increasing and the chances of being involved in a traffic crash also increase. 


•        Oregon law requires all occupants to use safety restraints or a child safety system appropriate for their size. Law enforcement agencies throughout Oregon will be working overtime to focus on proper safety belt use including child seat use, during a nationwide traffic enforcement “blitz” occurring day and night.

•        Safety belts, used correctly, can reduce the risk of major crash injury or death by up to 65%.  Belts are even more effective when used in combination with airbag systems and other not-so-obvious occupant protection features designed into today’s vehicles.

•        Child seats may increase crash survival by 71% for infants under one year old and by up to 59% for toddlers aged one to four.  Booster seats may reduce the chance of nonfatal injury among four to eight-year olds by 45% compared to safety belts used alone.

•        Children under one year or weighing less than twenty pounds must ride in a rear-facing child seat.  A child over forty pounds must use either a child seat or booster until they reach age eight or 4’ 9” tall and the adult belt fits them correctly.

Carlton Photographer Indicted on Multiple Counts of Sexual Assualt (Photo) - 02/06/19

The Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI, in conjunction with the Carlsbad (California) Police Department are asking for the public’s help in identifying potential victims of a suspected serial sexual predator named Robert Arnold Koester, 52 years of age.  Koester has property in the 16000 block of NW Meadowlake Road in rural Carlton.  His residence and outbuildings were used as photography studios.  It is believed that Koester sexually assaulted both minor and adult females and has potentially been engaging in these criminal acts since 1994. 

Koester, who has also used the names “Bert Kay”, “Rhake Winter” and “Qitooly”, was arrested by the Carlsbad Police Department on November 13, 2018 on sex related crimes under California criminal code.  He remains in custody and has since been charged with two federal counts of production of child pornography based on an FBI investigation in Southern California.

Last week, a Yamhill County Grand Jury charged Koester with 32 felony counts, involving four separate victims, one of which was a minor.  His bail is $2.5 million dollars on multiple counts of the following:

Rape in the First Degree

Sodomy in the First Degree

Unlawful Sexual Penetration in the First Degree

Causing Another Person to Ingest a Controlled Substance

If you have information about this ongoing investigation or believe you or someone you know may have been victimized by Robert Arnold Koester, the FBI and the Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office requests that you complete a secure, confidential online questionnaire.   This questionnaire can be found at:


This questionnaire is only intended to collect information. Based on the responses provided, the FBI or other Law Enforcement Agency will contact you for additional information, if needed.

Identified victims may be eligible for certain services and rights under federal and/or state law. 

Additional Resources:

FBI Help for Victims Brochure

Caring for Kids: What Parents Need to Know About Sexual Abuse

Adult Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse

Suicide Prevention Lifeline

American Psychological Association resources on sexual abuse

Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network (RAINN)

National Center for Victims of Crime

Information from the public may also be submitted confidentially via e-mail to: ModelCase@fbi.gov

Attached Media Files: koester3 , koester2 , koester1
Mother Sentenced in DUII connected to Meighan Cordie Case - 02/05/19

Today, the Honorable Cynthia L. Easterday, Yamhill County Circuit Judge, sentenced Jennifer C. Weathers on one count of Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants (DUII), arising from an August 18, 2018, incident.

Ms. Weathers was the driver of a vehicle which left a wedding in the Grand Island area of Yamhill County. When she left the wedding, she had her 28-year-old daughter Meigan Cordie, and her granddaughter in the vehicle. During the drive, she argued with Meigan, who ultimately fell or jumped from the vehicle, and was killed. Although this charge stemmed from her actions that night, there were no applicable Oregon criminal statutes to the death itself. The Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office ruled her death as "accidental." Attached is a copy of the original memorandum from the Yamhill County District Attorney related to Meigan’s death.

Evidence gathered during the investigation into the death identified witnesses who also attended the wedding reception. Although some witnesses did not notice signs or symptoms of intoxication in seeing or dealing with Ms. Weathers, others did and expressed the opinion that she should not have been driving. Detectives from the Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office, after an exhaustive investigation, ultimately identified enough witnesses to her intoxicated condition to be able to bring the DUII charge against her.

Although this case had the tragic results of a death related to it, ultimately Weathers was being sentenced as a first-time offender on the charge of DUII. In reaching the end result and recommended sentence to the court, the Yamhill County District Attorney’s Office Victims’ Services Division, engaged frequently with Meigan’s family, who concurred with this final result. Members of her family were present at the proceedings today.

Ms. Weathers was sentenced to 36 months of probation, alcohol treatment as a condition of probation, attend a Victim Impact Panel, $1,000 fine, complete a High Risk Driving course, 1 year driver’s license suspension, no contact with G.C., and ordered to serve 5 days jail. She was taken into custody at the conclusion of the hearing.

Questions should be directed to the Yamhill County District Attorney’s Office.

Attached Media Files: PDF Prosecution Decline , PDF Weathers