Tort claim: Murder suspect hid sex crimes as a Gladstone officer - KPTV - FOX 12

Tort claim: Murder suspect hid sex crimes as a Gladstone officer

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Lynn Benton Lynn Benton
Jason Jaynes Jason Jaynes
Susan Campbell Susan Campbell
Debbie Higbee-Benton Debbie Higbee-Benton
GLADSTONE, OR (KPTV) -

The 2011 Gladstone murder-for-hire investigation took yet another unexpected turn this week.

Jason Jaynes, 33, is charged with attempted aggravated murder and criminal conspiracy for the death of Debbie Higbee-Benton in May 2011.

On Thursday, it was revealed he had been indicted by a Clackamas County grand jury on charges including rape, sex abuse and using a child in a display of sexually explicit conduct. The alleged abuse happened between 1998 and 2001, according to police.

Now, a tort claim notice filed against the city of Gladstone states the sex crimes committed by Jaynes were covered up by Lynn Benton.

Lynn Benton is facing aggravated murder charges for the death of his estranged partner, Debbie Higbee-Benton. Lynn Benton, a former Gladstone police sergeant, now lives as a man after going through a gender reassignment process.

The tort claim, filed by attorneys for one of the alleged sex abuse victims, claims Jaynes repeatedly abused her in 1999. Lynn Benton interviewed the girl, who was 14 or 15 years old at the time, while working as a police officer. According to the claim, he did not refer the case to the district attorney or any other city authorities for prosecution or further investigation.

As a result, the tort claim notice alleges the victim suffered continued abuse by Jaynes.

The whole complicated case began in May 2011 when Debbie Higbee-Benton was found dead at the Gladstone Beauty Salon, which she had run for years.

Detectives said Lynn Benton offered Susan Campbell $2,000 to carry out a murder-for-hire plot against Debbie Higbee-Benton. Campbell, originally charged with murder, pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of attempted aggravated murder in November 2012 as part of a plea deal.

Jaynes is Campbell's son. He was arrested in November 2012.

Court documents show the plan to kill Higbee-Benton was in the making for more than a year, with Benton meeting Campbell and Jaynes at least three different times to discuss the plot.

Jaynes is currently in the Clackamas County Jail on $1.25 million bail. Benton was transferred to the Marion County Jail for security reasons last year. He remains there without bail.

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