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Officer Charged in Violent Abuse of 4-Year Old Boy Will Remain Behind Bars (VIDEO)Tim King and Jerry Freeman Salem-News.com
A judge refused to reduce bail from $1 million to $50,000 per Michael Abo's attorney's request.
(MCMINNVILLE) - Wednesday was a tough day for the family of a small boy who authorities say, suffered weeks of severe, traumatic abuse at the hands of a reserve police officer named Michael Abo.
Abo and his lawyer appeared in court Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. in McMinnville at the Yamhill County Circuit Court in front of Judge Cynthia Easterday, seeking a reduction in the one million dollar bail amount set for Abo after his arrest on a pair of Measure 11 charges.
So far there are no charges against the mother, who lived with Abo during the time of the abuse, yet apparently failed to report it. The four-year old boy's future was virtually destroyed, he is alive but will never be able to walk or talk or function normally.
Among the boy's injuries are seven broken ribs, a ruptured bowel, severe brain injuries and he is reportedly covered from head to toe with rug burns.
The list of injuries continues.
The attorney representing Abo, Mark Cogan of Portland, told the court he believed his client was not a flight risk and said Abo was willing to sign extradition papers, he added that Abo does not have a passport.
He asked for the amount of bail to be reduced from one million dollars, to fifty thousand.
The father of Michael Abo, Dennis Abo, was called to the witness stand, where he told the court that he supported the sheriff's office by making yearly donations, however he was not sure which sheriff's office he donated to.
Abo's father said his son's role as a police officer had been part of his identity. Michael Abo was fired from the Yamhill County Sheriff's Office for failing to show up in court to testify about arrests he had made.
Dennis Abo said his son was "sad" and that he was not aware of his son's having issued threats or using steroids.
But the steroid use is established, substantiating a rumor that Abo was using this drug that often leads to rage, according to medical reports.
The state agency that issues police certifications, DPSST, (Department of Public Safety Standards and Training) had moved to pull Abo's law enforcement certificate, however at a hearing, a judge decided Abo could retain the certificate, according to media reports.
Judge Easterday said these particular crimes were among the worst she had ever heard of. In the end the judge reduced the million dollar bail to $500,000, which is far in excess of the $5,000 Dennis Abo was prepared to pay. Michael Abo will continue to be held at the Washington County Jail.
Exiting the courtroom, the four-year old's grandparents, Steve and Karen Sengezer, were very distraught. "Very disappointed, but I'm so upset right now I can't say anything more."
It was clear that the very idea that the bail was lowered at all was hard for Sengezer to accept, "Oh yes gee oh my God, he needs to stay in jail."
He continued, saying, "Now I'm worried that... those electric monitoring things can be removed from you feet, what's to keep him from going to the hospital and getting my grandson and finishing it?"
It seemed clear that the reduced bail amount, $500,000, was still far in excess of what Abo or his father could afford.
Salem-News.com attempted to talk to deputies with Yamhill County, who told us they were not at liberty to discuss the case.
We tried to talk to the prosecutor from the District Attorney's office, and we also attempted to contact Yamhill County Sheriff Jack Crabtree.
This is a continuing story, we will keep our readers updated on developments as they occur.
Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor. Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 covering the war in Afghanistan, and he was in Iraq over the summer of 2008, reporting from the war while embedded with both the U.S. Army and the Marines. Tim holds numerous awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Oregon AP Award for Spot News Photographer of the Year (2004), first place Electronic Media Award in Spot News, Las Vegas, (1998), Oregon AP Cooperation Award (1991); and several others including the 2005 Red Cross Good Neighborhood Award for reporting. Serving the community in very real terms, Salem-News.com is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website. You can send Tim an email at this address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jerry Freeman is part of a new generation of dedicated news photographers who are entering the Internet news industry as a second career. He shares in common with many people the dream of becoming a visual journalist. Joining the Navy at an early age, and the Oregon Army Guard a few years later, Jerry has a wide range of life experiences. He describes himself as “an old truck driver with a new found passion to bare witness on the world’s events.” Teaming up with Salem-News.com he embarks on a new career as a video news photographer and reporter. Stay tuned, and see how it turns out. Jerry seems to exhibit natural talent and is already becoming a published member of the Salem-News.com team. You can send Jerry Freeman an email at this address: Salem-News@gravityshadow.com
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