Forest Grove retirement home owner accused of sex abuse, burglar - KPTV - FOX 12

Forest Grove retirement home owner accused of sex abuse, burglary arrested again after violating release

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Herbert "Howard" Sahnow, jail booking photo Herbert "Howard" Sahnow, jail booking photo
Herbert Sahnow's second mugshot after he was rearrested Monday night. Herbert Sahnow's second mugshot after he was rearrested Monday night.

The owner of a Forest Grove retirement home who was arrested on multiple charges – including 20 counts of sex abuse – was arrested again Monday evening after violating his release agreement, police said. 

Herbert "Howard" Sahnow, 72, was arrested at 9:43 a.m. Monday on a grand jury indictment.

Sahnow owns and operates The Elms on the 2000 block of Elm Street.

"Mr. Sahnow's arrest caps a five month investigation into his alleged actions while serving as the owner/operator of the retirement facility," a Forest Grove Police Department release states.

According to police, Sahnow was released from custody just before 4 p.m. Monday after posting $58,000 bail. Just after 5:30 p.m., police were notified that Sahnow had returned to the retirement home where the alleged crimes took place, which was a violation of his release agreement. 

He was arrested at his home at about 6:30 p.m. and returned to the Washington County Jail. 

Sahnow is facing one count of first-degree sex abuse, three counts of second-degree sex abuse and 16 counts of third-degree sex abuse. He is also being charged with seven counts of burglary.

Police said the crimes occurred at The Elms and involved seven victims - both employees and residents.  While most of the charges stem from more recent allegations, police said some of them date back ten years.

"I can't believe it. He seemed like a real nice guy, all the years we've been dealing with him anyway," said neighbor Jimmy Moyer, who said he bought his condo from Sahnow eight years ago. "We never would have thought that would have taken place over there on that basis, but you never know.  You never know about people, I guess."

"I'm sorry to hear it, because I know too many people over there [at The Elms]," said a neighbor, who asked to remain anonymous. "I've seen, quite a few times, police over there and I've been wondering what's going on."

According to the website for The Elms, the main building of the retirement community opened in 1989.

"The Elms has been a family project from the beginning including Howard's parents and children," the site states.

A spokesperson for the business said they were not releasing a statement regarding the arrest Monday. 

Forest Grove police want to speak to anyone who has had any "alarming or coercive contact" with Sahnow while he has served as owner of The Elms.

Anyone with additional information can call detectives at 503-992-3260.

Sahnow is scheduled to be arraigned in court Tuesday.

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