DNA match leads detectives to horse sex abuse suspect - KPTV - FOX 12

Barn evidence, surveillance led to arrest of horse sex abuse suspect

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Tony Hall-Rivas in court Thursday Tony Hall-Rivas in court Thursday

A man living in rural Washington County is accused of sneaking into a barn and sexually abusing horses over a span of eight months.

Tony Hall-Rivas, who lives along Sunset Highway in the town of Manning, was arraigned in court Thursday on five counts of burglary. A grand jury will decide if he will face other charges he was initially accused of, including trespassing and sexual abuse of an animal.

Deputies first started investigating in the fall of 2012, when the barn's owner found evidence someone was entering her barn and sexually abusing horses.

Detectives installed monitoring equipment and a man was caught on camera going into the barn. Further surveillance showed the man inappropriately touching the animals, according to police records.

Initially, detectives weren't able to identify the person, but they said the abuse became increasingly bold and frequent. On several occasions, deputies said Hall-Rivas was scared away by the horse's owner.

On March 20, the owner said she saw the man running under the back gate at 7:39 a.m. as he was pulling up his pants.

Detectives recovered evidence left in the barn and on the suspect's escape path during the investigation.

The Oregon State Police Crime Lab was able to receive a positive match from DNA on a hat that led them to Hall-Rivas.

On Wednesday, detectives arrested Hall-Rivas at his home. Court documents show he admitted to police making sexual contact with two horses on multiple occasions.

He said the first time he entered the barn, he was kicked by a horse. He said that deterred him at first, according to probable cause documents, but he couldn't remember how many more times he went into the barn.

His bail was reduced Thursday from $20,000 to $2,000. In the courtroom, Hall-Rivas held a piece of paper over his face.

He is due back in court April 16.

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