Bedridden man, assistant face charges in OR coast sex abuse investigation

Ronald Flinter, jail booking photo

Caregivers hired through Craigslist were sexually abused by a bedridden man and spied on by his assistant at a home on the Oregon coast, according to police.

Newport police began an investigation on July 9 into sex abuse allegations involving 67-year-old Mahlon "Mel" Blose of Newport,

Investigators said Blose's assistant, 46-year-old Ronald Flinter, would find potential caregivers online and offer them room and board, a phone and food as salary.

Blose is accused of inappropriately touching the caregivers and forcing them to inappropriately touch him in a sexual manner under the threat of being fired and thrown off the property if they didn't do as they were told, according to Newport police.

Detectives said Flinter would also spy on the caregivers while they were in their own private residence on the property and watch them "as they were engaged in intimate private acts."

On Sunday, Newport police, assisted by Lincoln County deputies, served a search warrant at Blose's property on Southeast 35th Street in the South Beach area.

Officers seized multiple computers, photos and cameras. Police said they found published child pornography, evidence of trading child pornography and multiple pornographic photos and negatives.

Due to Blose's health condition, he was issued criminal citations and released at his home instead of being taken to jail. He is facing charges including first-degree sex abuse, subjecting another to involuntary servitude, trafficking in persons, conspiracy and harassment.

Flinter was arrested and booked in the Lincoln County Jail on charges of invasion of personal privacy, subjecting another to involuntary servitude, trafficking in persons and conspiracy. His bail was set at $400,000.

Anyone with information about this investigation, or who may have worked as a caregiver for Blose, is asked to contact Officer Brad Purdom at 541-265-4849.

Copyright 2015 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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