Gibson gets 25 years in prison

May 18, 2011

A Cascade Locks man will remain in jail for 25 years for a sexual assault that placed a six-year-old girl in the emergency room last November.

Darnell Gibson, 22, was found guilty April 20 for committing unlawful sexual penetration in the first degree against a six-year-old female relative.

According to Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Carrie Rasmussen, the case is the first in the county under the 2006 Jessica's Law, which requires a 25-year mandatory minimum sentence for adults convicted of raping, sodomizing or sexually penetrating a child under 12 years of age.

"This was one of the most hideous sexual assaults I have seen in my career," said Rasmussen, an 11-year prosecutor. She said the victim suffered traumatic physical injury in addition to the severe mental harm in the assault, which occurred Nov. 11.

Gibson must serve the entire 300 months ordered by Judge Paul Crowley. Gibson has no chance of parole or reduced time and he will be under post-prison supervision for the rest of his life.

Rasmussen added that this is "the largest sentence I've ever obtained in a child sex abuse crime."

Rasmussen credited the investigative work of Sheriff Detective Matt English and Deputy Noel Princehouse, who were assisted by deputies Chris Guertin and Joel Carmody.

"There was a great deal of physical evidence in the case, and they did excellent work in their interviews, in coordinating the evidence, and handling the incident at the hospital," Rasmussen said.

"It was one of the more horrific case of child abuse I ever investigated," English said. "The physical evidence was appalling. It was disturbing."

English added that "it was an excellent example of a multi-agency team approach," involving DHS, Providence Hood River Memorial, the Child Advocacy Center, Hood River Victims Assistance, Emmanuel Hospital, and CARES Northwest, a child advocacy service based at Emanuel.

Rasmussen said the case was greatly helped by the Columbia Gorge Advocacy Center.

"It's really outstanding that we have that facility, as a welcoming place for interviewing victims and family members," Rasmussen said. She credited the center's Michelle Tremblay for her contribution to the investigation. Before the center was created last year, the only secure location for investigators to interview a victim and family was the more intimidating booking rooms at the courthouse.

Rasmussen noted the five-month turnaround, short for a felony case, and said "this was resolved in a relatively quick manner due to the quality of the interviews.

"This type of case can take more than a year," she said.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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