1 man, 3 teen victims, 14 months in prison

Joseph Myers

On Dec. 23, Joseph Myers, a former Keizer resident, was sentenced to 14 months for raping three teens at a home he lived in on Gary Street Northeast, but the events that led to his guilty pleas began with a phone call in February 2018. 

A concerned father

On Feb. 1, 2018, Myers’ father called 9-1-1 to report that his son was having sex with “half a dozen underage girls.”

The father told dispatchers that he had warned his son to stop, but Myers continued despite admonishments. The man had reached a breaking point when he caught Myers on the phone with a 12-year-old. Myers was 20 years old at the time. 

The phone call launched a months-long investigation by the Keizer Police Department that led to an indictment on 12 counts of rape, one count of sodomy and three counts of unlawful delivery of marijuana. 

The victims

Myers first victim was 15 when the two began a sexual relationship. He was 19.

The first time she was interviewed by police, the victim said the two had met about a year and a half before. She said they had grown close and described the relationship as being “best friends.” 

Four months later, she admitted to having a sexual relationship with Myers that began after he had given her a ride home. She also told investigators that Myers regularly supplied her and her friends with marijuana. 

She supplied police with text messages stating she had “covered” for him after the investigation had started.

Myers’ second victim also initially denied a sexual relationship, but disclosed the truth later to her probation officer. She was 14 when the sexual relationship The second victim told police that she had met Myers through another underage victim and it led to the sexual relationship. 

Myers also regularly supplied her with marijuana. 

The third victim was only 13 years old when a sexual relationship developed between her and Myers. Myers was 19. 

She later recanted the allegations, but police presented her with text and Facebook messages that appeared to confirm a sexual relationship. 

Unwilling to stop

Myers initially denied contact with any of the girls when he was contacted by police. He described the victims as acquaintances that “have a crush on me.” 

When presented with messages that appeared to confirm sexual relationships, Myers told police “I wish it never took place” and “there is not much explaining I could do.”

In the two months before pleading guilty, the Marion County District Attorney’s Office received three anonymous phone calls from a young girl shaking and crying. The caller reported that Myers was continuing to contact underage girls online and in person. As a result, a release agreement was revoked. 

Plea dodged jury trial

Myers faced up to 12-and-a-half years in prison if he had been convicted by a jury. The district attorney’s office recommended 48 months based on Myers lack of a prior record. He pleaded guilty to four counts of rape in the third degree. 

In court documents, Deputy District Attorney Alexandra Overton wrote that Myers continued to manipulate his victims after the investigation asking them to “cover for him” while he continued to prey on them.

During a psychological evaluation, Myers continued to blame his victims for the relationships that developed.

“All of these victims had difficulties at home, all of them were runaways. The defendant preyed on their vulnerability and continued to prey on their naivete when he began relationships with all of them … knowing they had no one else to turn to,” Overton wrote. 

Myers will have to register as a sex offender and he retains the right to appeal his sentence.