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Peeper gets parole

Jared Hansen

This story was updated to reflect the judge giving the sentence, and to correct the spelling of Mr. Hansen’s first name.)

UMATILLA COUNTY, Oregon – The La Grande man accused of recording videos of women in the restrooms at the Pilot Travel Center in La Grande appeared in Sixth Circuit Court this week. Umatilla County Chief Deputy District Attorney Jaclyn Jenkins says Jared Hansen entered guilty pleas to two counts of first-degree invasion of privacy involving two victims.

He received five years’ probation on the first case. In the second case, Jenkins says he was sentenced to five years’ probation on the second count as well. That sentence came with a provision that if Hansen violates his probation agreement, he could serve 14 months in prison. His sentences were handed down by Sixth Circuit Court Judge Christopher Brauer in Courtroom 1 of the Umatilla County courthouse in Pendleton.

One of the victims, a Washington state teenager, gave a statement to the presiding judge. In an exclusive interview with Elkhorn Media Group, she had words of caution for others.

“Be careful and watch out for your surroundings, because you never know if there are people around you like this,” she said. “They might seem normal, but they are probably everywhere. You just gotta keep a lookout.”

Her full statement (with her name deleted) is below:

“I am 14 years  old, and the youngest  of  six siblings. I have four brothers, and a sister. All of my siblings live in different parts of Eastern Oregon,  so we are always driving to visit them. I have always  loved our road trips, usually it’s just my mom and I, and we listen to music, stop for coffee and talk about everything that is going on in life. My mom is one of  my closest friends, which is something that I have always been proud of. My friends have even told me that  they wish they could be as open with their moms, as I am with mine. The last trip we took was special because it was my brother, stepdad and my  dog that  all went with us. After  dropping off  my  brother and heading home, we stopped at our normal stops for bathroom breaks and snacks. We went into the store, and my Mom was so happy because one of her favorite old songs was playing inside the store.

“We walked into the bathroom together, and one of the middle stalls was taken. I went into the one next to it and my mom went in the one on the other side of me. After I was done using the toilet, I turned around and saw the top half of a phone pointing up at me from the bottom of the stall that the stall  was occupied when we went in. My first thought was of what I should do, who was in that stall and  what their reaction would be to my reaction. Did this person have a gun, would they shoot and kill me and my mom? I decided to quietly shove the phone away. I could see the top half of the screen on the phone and the time that had lapsed on the recording before I pushed it back under. I got out of the stall as quickly as I could and acted as normal as I could while I waited for my mom by the sink. My hope was that if I pretended to act normal, they wouldn’t come out of the stall. I washed my hands, and my mom came out of her stall. As soon as she saw me, she knew something was wrong. I had started shaking really bad. I told her that the person in that stall, and pointed to it, had recorded me. I have never seen my mom so upset. She had started yelling at the person in the stall. Mom pushed me out of the bathroom and told me to go get my stepdad. I was so scared, and it was so loud in the store.

“Through the noise I heard my mom scream that it was a man in the women’s bathroom. I had made it to the middle of the snack isle (sic) when I heard her, and I just dropped. A lady who worked at the store picked me up off the floor and just hugged me and asked what happened and I just cried. I had never had so many emotions run through me at once, I felt violated, and scared. I couldn’t get the words to come out to tell the woman what had happened, I was so shaken up from everything running through my head. After the cops got there, I couldn’t find the words to say much to them either. I was sitting there and everything that had happened kept repeating in my head and I couldn’t make it stop. Later when we were allowed to go, I felt like I walked out of that place a different person. Over the past few months, I haven’t been able to feel like myself. It has been very hard for me to get through a day without thinking about what happened. Something was taken from me that day, the feeling of safety and feeling confident in myself. “Everywhere I go I am worried that this could happen again. I am scared that I won’t ever be myself again. This situation has made me painfully aware of my surroundings and scared that this, and situations like it, are happening to other people and other girls my age. This situation has made me want to help others that have gone through similar situations. Now I know the strength that it takes to  get through something like this. I haven’t felt like I had the strength until I  found Biker’s Against Child Abuse. Finding them and being able to turn to them for strength has helped me feel like I can get through this. I am glad that I was able to stop this man from hurting other innocent women and girls that day and hope that we can stop this from ever happening again.”

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