#AbolishICE organizer 2 1/2 years in prison for sexual abuse of minor

#AbolishICE organizer 2 1/2 years in prison for sexual abuse of minor

We previously reported on the Portland Antifa leader, Micah Rhodes, when he was found guilty of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor. According to the Oregonian, after a recent arrest for violating his probation and having contact with minors, Rhodes has now been sentenced to 2 ½-years in prison.

Full story from The Oregonian:

A judge on Tuesday found Portland activist Micah Rhodes violated his probation for sex crimes after he was seen near a 15-year-old boy during the recent ICE encampment. 

“When I sentenced you, I was very clear what I was hoping would happen,” Washington County Circuit Judge Janelle Wipper told Rhodes. “This isn’t what I was hoping for.”

Rhodes, a one-time leader of Portland’s Resistance protest group, was convicted this year of sex abuse for having illicit sexual contact with a 17-year-old girl in Washington County and a 17-year-old boy in Multnomah County. The abuse occurred in 2014 and 2015, and Rhodes was 20 and 21 years old at the time.

Judges in Washington and Multnomah counties sentenced Rhodes to five years of probation despite state sentencing guidelines that direct two to 2 ½-years in prison for the crime. As a condition of his probation, Rhodes, now 24, was ordered to stay away from anyone under 18 years old.

The judge postponed her decision on Rhodes’ penalty for the parole violation until Wednesday after a hearing that lasted nearly three hours. Rhodes’ probation officer recommended 45 days in jail as well as a no-contact order with the minor, a 15-year-old boy.

Washington County Deputy District Attorney Andrew Pulver called three witnesses to the stand: the probation officer, a Portland police officer and an agent with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to corroborate accounts from the probation officer’s report that Rhodes was seen at the protest with a minor.

Protesters staged a five week occupation of ICE’s Southwest Portland headquarters in June and July in response to President Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy. It ended July 25 as police escorted the remaining protesters out of their tents. 

Pulver displayed photos of Rhodes’ passing by the 15-year-old on a sidewalk and sitting a few people over from him on a step. Another photo puts Rhodes in front of a tent at the ICE occupation designated for children that advertised crafts, bubbles and games.

Rhodes’ attorney, William Redden, argued that Rhodes simply was walking in a public area on a sidewalk at the ICE protest and that there was no evidence that children were in the tent.

“I think that the state is stretching here” and criminalizing political behavior, Redden said.

That sentiment received snaps and sounds of agreement from the gallery, which was filled with about 20 of Rhodes’ supporters. The judge told the people that they would have to leave if they weren’t quiet.

Rhodes has been in the Washington County jail since July 19.

His probation officer found out about the violation through Department of Homeland Security officials, according to her report filed with the court. She documented two instances where Rhodes was alleged to have been around minors.

Paula Fata said she received a call from a Homeland Security inspector June 29 who said he saw Rhodes outside near a camping area where several children were playing at the ICE protest.

When Fata called Rhodes that afternoon about the allegation, Rhodes admitted he was at the protest but denied having contact with children, she said.

“I know my rights,” he said to Fata. “I’m not doing anything illegal,” according to her account.

A different Homeland Security agent sent Fata photos taken July 17 during a rally at the ICE office that showed Rhodes standing 4 feet from a 15-year-old boy.

The report said Rhodes knew the boy and was aware he was a minor.

Rhodes’ attorney said Rhodes has a health condition that prevents him from keeping food down and showed concerned his client isn’t getting proper nutrition in jail.

Redden said Rhodes has been consuming Ensure, a liquid nutritional supplement, while in jail.

Rhodes’ allies have posted on the #OccupyICEPDX Facebook page that he cannot consume food without the use of medical cannabis.

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