Note: we are republishing this story amid recent reports that child sexual abuse has surged in America during the COVID-19 pandemic. Statistics indicate 1 in 9 girls and 1 in 53 boys under the age of 18 experience sexual abuse or assault from an adult. More on this here: https://www.rainn.org/statistics/children-and-teens
On March 11, 40-year-old Tina Ketcham was found dead in Linn County Jail, Oregon, just two weeks after she was arrested on multiple child sex abuse charges.
Speaking to KATU, Linn County Sheriff Jim Yon said: “While performing hourly security checks at 5:10 am this morning, corrections deputies found Tina Ketcham hanging in her cell and unresponsive. Deputies immediately entered the cell, activated medics, and began life saving measures. Albany Fire Department paramedics arrived on scene at 05:18 a.m. and soon thereafter pronounced Ms. Ketcham deceased.”
He added that no further details would be revealed as the investigation was still ongoing.
Ketcham was charged with six counts of first-degree rape, two counts of first-degree sex abuse, on count of first-degree sodomy, and six other sex offenses.
According to prosecutor Keith Stein, the charges only represented a fraction of Ketcham’s alleged abuse. He told the court: “This is a situation where hundreds of charges could have been brought.”
Ketcham allegedly raped the boy from 2015 to January 2020, when he told police about the abuse. Ketcham denied the accusations brought against her.
To protect the alleged victim’s identity, investigators didn’t disclose Ketcham’s relationship with the boy. However, they stated that he was known to her when the abuse began.
During her bail hearing earlier this month, the judge refused to reduce her bail from $350,000 to $50,000. Ketcham killed herself while awaiting her next hearing.
According to Ketcham’s attorney, Stephen Doyle, his client’s business stake meant that she was a low flight risk, and granting her bail would allow her to attend counseling sessions. Ketcham faced decades in prison if she’d have been convicted of the charges she was facing.