Washington man sexually assaulted 12-year-old for a month while staying in her bedroom undetected by family
UMATILLA COUNTY, OREGON: A Washington man has been arrested and charged for sexually assaulting a 12-year-old for a month after moving into her bedroom and hiding beneath her bed and in her closet to evade capture, prosecutors said.
Zacharias Adrian Cavasos, 21, first contacted the victim via social media in December and then traveled from Washington state to Oregon to meet her in early February, according to Oregon Live.
He told her to find him at the Wildhorse Resort and Casino before clandestinely moving into her bedroom on February 10 and hiding in a cavity under her bed after removing slats that held the mattress to avoid detection by her grandfather.
He was spotted on February 25 and told by the grandfather to get out and leave the girl alone but managed to sneak back into the property. He returned to the girl's room and stayed there until he was discovered again on March 11 and arrested.
During questioning, he confessed to staying in the bedroom and having sex with the victim on multiple occasions. He was subsequently charged with sexual abuse of a minor in the U.S. District Court in Portland, with prosecutors stating it was filed in federal court because the offense had occurred on the Umatilla Indian Reservation.
At his hearing, U.S. Attorney Jennifer Martin argued to keep the 21-year-old locked up while he awaits trial. She said he had no family ties in the area, no job, and returned to her house even after he was warned to stay away.
She said he had previously communicated with the girl on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, and text messaging.
"I’m troubled by the allegation that despite knowing the victim’s age and the fact that he was not to return to that residence, he went back and further allegedly engaged in the same criminal conduct," U.S. Magistrate Judge Youlee Yim You said.
"When I started reading the nature of the allegations, I really was quite surprised by what I read, I have never been aware of anyone alleged to have been living in a 12-year-old’s bedroom for a month."
Cavasos' defense lawyer, Thomas Price, said his client may have an intellectual disability, is emotionally immature, and may have considered the encounter an inappropriate romantic relationship. He also pointed out that the 21-year-old had no prior criminal record and that the allegation did not contend he had been violent.
Martin retorted and said she objected to "any characterization of the interaction between a 21-year-old and a 12-year-old as any type of consensual sexual or romantic relationship" and that it's not "remotely possible since the victim can’t legally provide consent."
While stating that she was "disturbed" by the crime, You ultimately ruled in Cavasos' favor after Price convinced her to release him from custody to a clean-and-sober house in Aloha called 'Free on the Outside' under GPS monitoring and a curfew.
However, before agreeing to the release, the judge ordered his phone and computer to be monitored, and that he have no contact with the girl or travel to Umatilla County.