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Prineville man sentenced to 25 years in prison for abuse of three children

Zane Carpenter
Crook County Jail
Zane Carpenter

'All I can do is ask for forgiveness,' Zane Carpenter says at sentencing

PRINEVILLE, Ore. (KTVZ) -- A 72-year-old Prineville man was sentenced to 25 years in prison Thursday after pleading guilty to charges of abusing three children over a period of several years, Crook County District Attorney Wade Whiting said.

Zane William Carpenter was sentenced by Circuit Judge Daina Vitolins during a hearing at the county courthouse.

Carpenter pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree sodomy and two counts of first-degree sexual abuse in a case involving three child victims. Whiting said the sentence, reached in a negotiated plea, includes no eligibility for any form of early release from custody, a provision for both lifetime supervision and registration as a sex offender.

Last September, the Crook County Sheriff’s Office received a report that Carpenter had sexually abused three young children. The reporting party indicated the sexual abuse happened many years prior but was ongoing for quite some time. During the course of the investigation, it was determined that the abuse started as early as 2005 and was ongoing until 2012. said Whiting, who prosecuted the case.

The investigation uncovered that Carpenter had groomed his victims over the course of many years. Grooming is a process by which the offender gradually breaks down natural boundaries to normalize sexual behavior with young children.

As a result of his grooming behavior, Carpenter was able to maintain the abuse in secrecy for several years before the victims came forward and disclosed the length and extent of the abuse, the DA said in a news release.

Whiting explained, "Child victims face many barriers that often prevent immediate disclosure of sex abuse. Children often lack the knowledge needed to recognize sexual abuse and lack the ability to articulate what happened to them.

"Children often fear they won’t be believed when they try to disclose because of the power differential between the child victim and adult perpetrator.  It is not uncommon for child victims to delay disclosing for several years."

Detective Javier Sanchez of the Crook County Sheriff’s Office led the investigation and arrested Carpenter shortly after the disclosures were made.

At sentencing, Carpenter stated: “I do accept responsibility for all of I have done. None of the (victims) are responsible. I am guilty for what I have done. All I can do is ask for forgiveness, hope and pray there will be healing someday.”

Whiting said the KIDS Center provided invaluable support by conducting a forensic interview and providing support to the victims’ family.

Article Topic Follows: Prineville

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