Repeat Sex Offender Receives Life in Prison After Targeting Hillsboro Girl

By Emily E. Smith, The Oregonian, Tuesday, January 10, 2012

David Allen Baker

David Allen Baker

A repeat sex offender will spend the rest of his life in prison without the chance of parole because he can’t be rehabilitated, a Washington County judge decided Tuesday.

David Allen Baker, twice convicted of raping young girls, landed the life sentence under Oregon’s three-strikes law for sex offenders after his most recent pursuit of sex with a teen girl.

Baker, 48, met a 13-year-old Hillsboro girl through a phone chat line in 2009, and the two carried on conversations for months, according to court records.

At Baker’s Tuesday sentencing before Judge Gayle Nachtigal, Deputy District Attorney Dan Hesson said Baker groomed the girl through many phone calls before making sexual comments and expressing an interest in having sex with her.

After that, court records show, the girl stopped talking to Baker. He then began calling the girl’s home phone and calling and texting her mother’s cellphone, demanding to talk to the girl.

In December 2010, the girl’s mother reported the persistent phone calls and messages to police, who traced them to Baker through the name and phone numbers he gave the girl.

Earlier that month, the girl’s mother, family members and neighbors spotted an unfamiliar man prowling around the girl’s home. After police began investigating, witnesses recognized the man as Baker from prior a jail booking photo. He was arrested in January 2011.

At trial in September last year, jurors found Baker guilty of online sexual corruption of a child, unlawful contact with a child and attempted third-degree rape.

Baker is a twice-convicted child rapist, according to court records.

In 1985, he picked up a relative from elementary school and brought her back to his cold apartment, Hesson said. He told her to get in his bed to warm up, instructed her to take off her clothes and raped her. When the girl didn’t return home that day, her mother called police. Officers found the girl with Baker, both of them naked in his bed.

In 1998, Baker babysat a 6-year-old girl in Minnesota. He raped the girl twice while he had her alone, according to reports.

Baker served prison time for both of those incidents. The Minnesota Department of Corrections classified him as a predatory sex offender.

He returned to Oregon and was living in Multnomah County Community Corrections transitional housing when he committed his most recent crimes in Washington County.

In their investigation, Hillsboro police turned up online ads Baker posted looking for a “cute sex slave” as young as 14. They also found pages and pages of printed web searches that revealed an obsession with animals raping children, Hesson said.

Defense attorney Ethan Levi said Baker has multiple mental health issues that have contributed to his behavior. His mother beat him “viciously” as a child, Levi said. When one of the beatings sent him to the hospital at age 14, Levi said, he was removed from the home.

Baker is mentally ill and developmentally delayed, Levi said. He struggled with reading, writing and speech and eventually dropped out of school and started using drugs.

Over the years, Baker has been diagnosed with Tourette’s syndrome, psychosis, borderline intelligence, depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder, Levi said.

He suffered a severe head injury in a 1981 car crash, Levi said. In 1988, he attempted suicide. He’s been raped twice by inmates in prison, Levi said.

Levi argued that a life sentence didn’t fit the crime in Baker’s case both because of his diminished mental capacity and because he never had physical contact with the victim.

Nachtigal disagreed.

“He is not rehabilitable,” she said. “He will never change his behavior. He will be a predatory sex offender until the day he dies.”

There is no treatment or medication for a sex offender facing a combination of brain damage, mental illness and addiction, Nachtigal said.

“We know a lot about Mr. Baker,” she said. “Given who he is and what he can and cannot do, the only way to prevent this kind of behavior is … to keep Mr. Baker away from society.”

In faded orange jail scrubs, Baker whispered in his attorney’s ear before Levi told the judge he didn’t wish to make a statement. Pale and unshaven with shaggy graying hair, Baker showed no reaction to his sentence.