By Les Zaitz
VALE — The lead detective investigating the attempted rape of a Nyssa girl took to social media on Saturday to urge the suspect to turn himself in and warned others they could face criminal charges for hindering his arrest.
Det. Dan Perkins of the Malheur County Sheriff’s Office said Doug R. Villines, 42, of Nyssa, needed to surrender.
“You say you’re innocent with your words,” Perkins wrote on a post on the Malheur Enterprise’s Facebook page. “Prove it with your actions. Save everybody all the hassle and taxpayer’s expense of finding you.”
Villines was indicted in December on three counts of first-degree sex abuse, two counts of first-degree attempted rape, two counts of unlawful penetration, and one count each of first-degree sodomy and failing to report as a sex offender. The charges involve a 10-year-old girl.
The Enterprise has published two news reports to its website and to its Facebook page in recent days about the case, and they have been shared more than 1,500 times and reached more than 100,000 people.
In his post, Perkins warned people to be aware of the crime of hindering prosecution.
“To those assisting Mr. Villines, this is not a movie,” Perkins said.
Hindering prosecution, a felony, results when someone helps another person avoid apprehension. The law states that can include harboring or concealing the wanted suspect or providing “money, transportation, weapon, disguise or other means of avoiding discovery or apprehension.”
Perkins told Villines to “stop placing people who care for you in jeopardy of criminal consequences. Turn yourself in.”
He wrote that Villines is innocent until proven guilty but “fleeing for the purpose of avoiding prosecution can be seen as consciousness of guilt and risk separate charges.” Perkins warned that resources at work to find the Nyssa man “may grow from state to federal.”
A federal charge of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution could trigger the involvement of federal agencies such as the FBI.
Sheriff Brian Wolfe said Friday that tips coming to his office placed Villines in Weiser and Fruitland. He said some tipsters appeared to be trying to misdirect police.
He said anyone with information about Villines should call the sheriff’s dispatch center at 541-473-5125.
The local Crime Stoppers organization posted that it had a $1,000 reward for information leading to Villines’ arrest.
The group, 3 Rivers Crime Stoppers, said it would “take your information if you wish to remain anonymous. Contact us by calling 208-414-2677 or download the free P3 app. If your information leads to a felony arrest and charges filed, you could earn a cash reward of up to $1,000. You must contact Crime Stoppers to be eligible for the reward.”
There is a nationwide warrant for Villines, who previously had gone to Arkansas. His bail is set at $500,000.
Les Zaitz: email@example.com, 541-473-3377