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Madras man sentenced to 25 years in prison for sex abuse, child pornography

HATCH, JASON ROBERT
Jefferson County Jail
Jason Robert Hatch

MADRAS, Ore. (KTVZ) – A 41-year-old Madras man who pleaded no contest to eight abuse and child pornography charges was sentenced to more than 25 years in prison earlier this week, a prosecutor said Friday.

Jason Robert Hatch entered the pleas Tuesday to three counts of first-degree sexual abuse, Class B felonies, and five counts of second-degree encouraging child sexual abuse, Class C felonies, Jefferson County Chief Deputy District Attorney Brentley Foster said. A total of 26 other encouraging child sexual abuse charges were dismissed as part of the plea negotiations.

Hatch, who had no prior criminal history, came to the attention of investigators in Madras after a woman he had been communicating with online contacted police about statements Hatch made to her about raping an 11-year-old girl in Madras about five years earlier and having had sexual contact with two other children he had access to, Foster said in a news release.

Two of the children Hatch identified were interviewed and disclosed sexual abuse by Hatch, she said. A third child was too young to be interviewed, but investigators were able to corroborate that Hatch had been with the child when he said the abuse occurred.

Hatch made additional statements expressing an interest in child pornography, prosecutors said. 

When he was contacted by investigators, Hatch admitted that if they could access deleted files on his computer, they would discover numerous images of child pornography, Foster said.

Search warrants were obtained to review the contents of Hatch's cellphone and computer, while led to the discovery of about 800 images. It did not appear that Hatch created the images himself, but rather downloaded them from the internet, Foster said. 

Hatch was sentenced immediately after entering his no-contest plea (meaning he did not admit guilt, only that the evidence could lead to a conviction).

Parents of two victims spoke and asked the court to impose the maximum sentence possible.

Foster presented evidence through the testimony of Madras Police Detective Steve Webb that Hatch continued to access child pornography images, even after he knew he was being investigated. 

Webb also testified that all of the children depicted in the images Hatch pleaded no contest to possessing were different children. 

Based on Webb’s testimony, Foster asked the judge to impose the maximum possible sentence of 385 months -- about 32 years. 

Hatch, through defense attorney Ricky Nelson, asked the court for leniency and to sentence him to concurrent time for all of his offenses, which would have resulted in a sentence of just over six years in prison. 

During the sentencing, Hatch apologized to the court, his family and his cats, expressing that he understood the severity of his offenses, but believed he needed treatment rather than incarceration, according to Foster. 

Nelson also advocated for treatment for Hatch, emphasizing his lack of criminal history and desire to engage in treatment, as well as Hatch’s own history of prior victimization.

Presiding Judge Annette Hillman found that every child Hatch abused was a separate victim and that the images Hatch pleaded no contest to possessing also pertained to a different victim. 

Hillman expressed sympathy for Hatch’s prior victimization, but told Hatch that he had to be held accountable.  She sentenced Hatch to 305 months (25 years and five months) in prison.  He was ordered to have no contact with the victims, and will be required to register as a sex offender upon his release. 

The judge also ordered that Hatch won't be eligible to earn good time or participate in sentencing programs that could allow him to reduce his sentence, intending that he will serve every day of his sentence.

Foster said the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office would like to recognize the Oregon Department of Justice’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, the Albany Police Department and Detectives Brent Schulke and Steve Webb of the Madras Police Department "for their excellent work in this investigation."

KTVZ news sources

Comments

6 Comments

  1. We’ve been wondering of you knew when the trial of Rusty Pugh would be. He’s being charged with over 60 charges similiar to Hatch. It’s been 1-2 years now and no word.

  2. I’m really ashamed…and I feel absolutely disgusted with myself…. When I was 16/17 years old I dated a guy I met named JR also known as Jason Robert Hatch. Jason was 26 at the time… We dated for about 9 months and I met his family when I was a minor. They knew we were in a sexual relationship and they did nothing about it. They even let us rent a room in his mother’s house. Even encouraged our relationship. My mom tried calling the Portland Police and the police at the time asked Jason if they knew how old I was and he straight up admitted to it and they did nothing.

    I am really sorry to the families of the victims involved. I wish Jason had been caught much sooner. This could have been avoided if the police acted on his behavior 18 years ago. I’m so very sorry this has happened…..

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