Lents Park rapist suspect put behind bars

Area residents were worried when reports of a teenage girl being raped surfaced last week; see how alert Portland Police Bureau officers got the man they say is the perpetrator …

Usually Lents Park is a place of fun and recreation for families. Neighbors started getting worried when they heard a girl had been raped here.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
A broad daylight rape on October 20 left the residents who live around Lents Park – in the area of SE 92nd Avenue and SE Holgate Boulevard – feeling uneasy.

“We have some bad characters running through there,” said Lawrence Brookmeyer, a retired Lents neighborhood resident whose house overlooks the park. “I hope they catch the guy – we’ll all feel a lot better.”

Portland Police Bureau spokesman Sgt. Brian Schmautz told us that, based on information from an interview with the teenage victim, detectives believe she was walking through the park and saw the suspect crouched against a tree. The victim approached the suspect to ask him a question. As she walked towards the suspect he stood up.

“As the suspect stood up,” Schmautz reported, “the victim observed that the suspect’s pants were partially open and his penis was exposed. Before the victim could escape, the suspect grabbed and sexually assaulted her. The victim physically resisted the suspect, who walked out of the area after completing the assault.”

Schmautz said the victim was able to give police a detailed description of the suspect, and helped the bureau’s sketch artist make a drawing of the suspect.

Police say they suspect this man, 26-year-old Andrea Tito Pascua, is the one who sexually assaulted the teenager in Lents Park.

Officer checks transient camps
East Precinct Officer Rian Hamby got on the case and checked several locations frequented by transients in southeast Portland. His work paid off; three days later, on October 23, Hamby found his man.

“In the area of SE 87th Avenue and SE Powell Boulevard, Hamby found and detained 26-year-old Andrea Tito Pascua,” Schmautz said. “Pascua was later positively identified as the suspect by the victim.”

Pascua was arrested and charged with one count of Sex Abuse in the First Degree and one count of Unlawful Sexual Penetration in the First Degree in connection with the sexual assault in Lents Park, Schmautz stated.

This investigation is continuing. Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Mary Wheat at (503) 823-0885.

© 2008 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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