A Washington County judge has sentenced a convicted child sex abuser to 34 years in prison.
The case against Michael Forker began in 2003 when investigators from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office seized his vast collection of child pornography. Forker was eventually convicted of Encouraging Child Sexual Abuse in the Second Degree for the possession of those materials, but investigators always suspected that Forker had personally abused a victim in the Washington County area. After being revoked from his probation Forker moved back to Idaho, where he was repeatedly investigated on suspicion of additional crimes against underage boys. The victim reported that he could not bring himself to speak up in 2003, but found the courage after learning of these subsequent investigations.
At trial, jurors learned that at the time of the abuse the victim was homeless and vulnerable after a painful experience coming out as homosexual. Forker befriended the victim online and moved from Idaho to Aloha to begin sexually abusing the teen. Once in Oregon, Forker also volunteered at the Outside In shelter for homeless youth and applied to be an overnight counselor at a residential treatment program for teenage boys.
The case was prosecuted by Senior Deputy District Attorney Megan Johnson and investigated by detectives from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. Based on what was learned during their investigation, detectives are concerned that Forker may have additional victims. Between 2002 and 2003, while Forker was living in Washington County, investigators believe he spent a great deal of time in online chatrooms seeking contact with boys between the ages of 14 and 17. They also believe he frequented public pools where he could watch, photograph, and potentially contact children.
Judge Ricardo J. Menchaca sentenced Forker to 34 years in prison.
Forker will not be eligible for release until he is over 75 years old.