Siletz resident Matthew Baker was sentenced to over eight years in prison by Judge Sheryl Bachart today for the rape of a 17 year old girl while on a camping trip near Siletz in June of last year. Baker was convicted in a jury trial after evidence revealed that Baker raped the girl after she had consumed so much alcohol that she was totally helpless.
Judge Bachart told Baker that the jury listened to the evidence and came to their verdict in the proper way. She said that his defense attorney disagrees with some of the evidence that was admitted during the trial but that the final ruling on that part of it lies with the State Court of Appeals to which his attorney has referred the verdict and the sentencing.
Judge Bachart noted the showing of family and friends of Baker in the courtroom and lauded them for their support. But she also admonished them to refrain from harrasing the victim, which the victim has endured over the past year in the community. Judge Bachart said although Baker is going to prison, no one should lose sight of what the victim suffered and continues to suffer not only from the initial trauma but also the harrasment she still endures from certain people.
Judge Bachart also told Baker that whether he agrees or not with the verdict of the jury, the jury heard all the evidence and unanimously decided to convict – a decision that is not open to personal interpretation.
With that Judge Bachart ordered Baker to be sent to state prison for over eight years on his convictions of Rape, Sexual Abuse and Furnishing Alcohol to a Minor (17 years old). When released he will be placed on probation for a very long time, be ordered to undergo Alcohol and Drug Abuse Treatment and pay over ten thousand dollars in fines and court and attorney costs. He will also be forever declared a sex offender and will have to register with law enforcement wherever he lives.
Baker’s attorney said the case will be appealed to the State Court of Appeals over allegations that some evidence was not properly handled. Until that appeal is decided, either at the Court of Appeals or State Supreme Court, Baker will remain in prison.