Leftist Micah Isaiah Rhodes, 24, -- an organizer of violent protests in Portland, Oregon -- avoided prison time again for having sexual contact with an underage teens of both sexes. On Monday, Multnomah County Circuit Judge Jerry Hodson said that he would not sent the offender to prison for two to 2 ½ years, out of the belief that Rhodes is trying to change his life. The prosecutor in the case is not so certain of Rhodes’ claims. On Monday, while Rhodes wiped tears streaming down his face, Judge Hodson said, “I can tell that you’re sincere and I can tell that you’ve grown a lot over the last couple of years.” At the time of his offenses in 2014 and 2015, Rhodes was 20 and 21.

In March, a jury in Washington County OR found Rhodes guilty of second-degree sexual abuse of a 17-year-old girl. According to Rhodes’ defense counsel, the sexual contact occurred after the girl went with Rhodes to watch a movie at his house. Days later, Rhodes pleaded guilty to two counts of felony second-degree sexual abuse for having homosexual contact with 17-year-old boy. Police revealed that Rhodes got in touch with the minor on a gay dating app.

According to Oregon law, it is a crime for an adult to have sex with a minor when there are three or more years of age difference between the two. Most states allow adults to have sexual contact with 16- or 17- year-olds. However, Oregon is one of about twelve states that sets the age of consent at 18. Washington state sets the age at 16.

Rhodes led Portland’s Resistance, which became prominent after President Donald Trump’s election. Portland’s Resistance organized days of marches and rallies against Trump. Before then, Rhodes had frequently shown up at Portland City Council meetings.

While the Multnomah County prosecutor’s office often seeks probation for defendants found guilty of crimes of the sort Rhodes committed, Deputy District Attorney Bumjoon Park argued that Rhodes should go to prison for about two years. Park revealed Rhodes’ history of sexual molestation of children, his rebelliousness and inability to modify his behavior even after attending sex offender treatment programs three times.

As a teen, Rhodes was convicted in the youth court system of first-degree sodomy and sexual abuse, Park said. At the age of 14, Rhodes sexually abused a 9-year-old boy. He sexually abused three more boys when he was 15. Park said that Rhodes has a history of ignoring rules by “repeatedly sexually acting out” despite being forbidden to have contact with minors as a condition of his probation. The prosecutor noted that Rhodes is almost four years older than both of the victims in the Multnomah County and Washington County cases. Park also had a habit of using narcotics, including meth. 

Defense attorney Jon Sarre explained away Rhodes’ behavior by telling the judge that much of the behavior described by the prosecutor happened to the defendant’s childhood. Saying that Rhodes has made “strides,” Sarre said that Rhodes had been “forced into the sex trade” as a child. “Mr. Rhodes as a young child was essentially forced into the sex trade,” he said. “This is a person who was repeatedly raped and repeatedly brutalized as a child.”

Pleading for probation, Rhodes told the judge that he will comply with court orders. “I have atoned for what I’ve done,” Rhodes said. “I’ve acknowledged that I made mistakes. I reported them myself.” 

In addition to sentence of probation, the Multnomah County judge sentenced Rhodes to more sex offender treatment with the proviso that he must not have contact with children but must register as a sex offender. The sentence that Rhodes received on Monday resembled the one he received from a Washington County judge last month.
 

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Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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