Portland man sentenced for random downtown sexual assault—woman was bashed on the head, had throat cut

Harris was convicted of sodomy, kidnapping, two counts of assault and attempted rape in the first degree.

Jarryd Jaeger Vancouver, BC

A 29-year-old Portland, Oregon man who raped a stranger will spend the next three decades behind bars, a judge has ruled. 

Timothy Deshawn Harris was sentenced on Thursday to 32 years in prison after being found guilty on six charges related to the sexual assault, which took place in 2016. 

According to Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt, Harris was convicted by a jury of one count of sodomy in the first degree, one count of kidnap in the first degree, one count of attempted rape in the first degree, two counts of assault in the second degree and one count of unlawful use of a weapon.

The incident took place on the morning of July 5, 2016 in downtown Portland. Harris approached a woman on the street and put her at gunpoint as he dragged her into a nearby parking lot.

Harris attempted to sexually assault the woman, but she put up a fight. Despite being hit repeatedly in the head and having her throat cut with a sharp object, the woman managed to free herself from his grasp and run away. A passerby helped her and called 911.

By the time Portland Police Bureau officers, including the Sex Crimes Unit, showed up on the scene, Harris had fled. Later on, DNA evidence was obtained from the victim at the hospital where she had been taken for treatment.

The case went unsolved until 2020 due to the lack of a match for the genetic material in the police database. That year, Harris was charged, and later convicted, of first-degree rape in Washington state, and had his DNA registered. Investigators matched it with that found on the victim of the 2016 attack, and he was quickly arrested.

Harris had reportedly had no contact with the victim prior to the attack. He also has a record that includes other separate accusations, including a misdemeanor charge for reckless burning along with a conviction for criminal mischief in the second degree. 

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