The loophole in Oregon's dangerous sex offender law - KPTV - FOX 12

The loophole in Oregon's dangerous sex offender law

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It's a face some women will never forget.

Gordon Michael Strauss has been convicted of rape, assault and other sex charges. In 1987, he raped one woman who was out for a jog. That was just 39 days after getting out on parole for attacking a different woman with a knife.

Strauss served 10 years for those convictions in a Washington State prison, then 14 more at an institution for sexual predators and child molesters on McNeal Island.

Now he's out and making the streets of Portland's Pearl District his new home.

In December, Strauss joined the more than 300 homeless registered sex offenders living in Portland. Oregon allows convicted sex offenders to register as transients, no matter what their crimes.

"He's a very dangerous man and there's no indication in all the psychological data I see that he is going to stop," said Officer Bridget Sickon, with Portland Police Bureau's Sex Offender Registration Detail.

Sickon says Strauss has declared his home on the corner of Northwest Ninth and Lovejoy. There is no shelter at that corner, only a bus stop and high-end liquor store. Just three blocks away is Jameson Square.

"As long as he's in the seven- to 10-block (radius) sleeping, he's within compliance of the law," Sickon said.

Unlike other sex offenders who are tied to a home address and must re-register within 10 days of moving, claiming a street corner makes transient sex offenders difficult to keep up on.

It also makes it more difficult to warn neighbors.

"His typical MO is to come up to you on the street - a woman anywhere from 13 to 22-ish generally (and) sort of ingratiate himself to you. Ask for directions, a cigarette, just making small talk and then a blitz-blitzkrieg kind of attack and sexually assaults you," Sickon said.

In 1978, Strauss was convicted of unlawful sexual intercourse with a 17-year-old he picked up hitchhiking.

In 1982, Strauss pleaded guilty to attacking a woman with a knife when she was walking home from work.

Just 39 days after getting out on those assault charges, a woman accused Strauss of raping her while she was on her morning jog.

In October, Strauss was released and moved to Portland.

"I would assume you're going to have a picture on a website," Sickon told KPTV's Kate Cagle. "I would print it out and have it in my pocket and learn it like the back of my hand and, quite frankly, if you see the man, go the other way."

Don't bother searching for Strauss on Oregon's sex offender website – those are only "predatory" offenders. Sickon says it could take up to two years for an offender to move into that category.

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