White City man convicted of sex abuse sentenced to nearly 17 years in prison

Donald James McLaughlin was convicted in January of sodomy, unlawful sexual penetration and sex abuse charges.

Posted: Mar. 5, 2019 2:37 PM

MEDFORD, Ore. — A White City man has been sentenced to almost 17 years in prison after being convicted of sex abuse charges spanning multiple victims, including two under the age of 18.

A jury found Donald James McLaughlin (48 or 49 years old, according to court records) guilty of Sodomy in the First Degree, two counts of Unlawful Sexual Penetration in the First Degree, three counts of Sexual Abuse in the First Degree and two counts of Sexual Abuse in the Second Degree in January of this year.

On Tuesday, McLaughlin's defense lawyer argued for a sentence of 100 months, while the prosecution asked the judge for 300 months. The judge settled on 200 months in prison, or a period of 16 years and eight months.

Upon release, McLaughlin will also need to register as a sex offender, and his DNA will be kept on file with law enforcement. 

During the sentencing hearing, the prosecutor read two letters from victims aloud to the courtroom. McLaughlin elected not to deliver a statement. McLaughlin's lawyer also requested that the judge declare a mistrial, but the motion was not granted.

"I don't think anyone will walk out of here happy," said Judge Lorenzo Mejia prior to delivering the sentence. He said that he'd thought long and hard about the case — later telling McLaughlin that he thought the man had taken advantage of people that he knew were susceptible.

An initial indictment of McLaughlin for sex abuse charges came down in January of 2016, forming one case against him. Another sex abuse case involving different victims began in February of 2017. Eventually the two cases were combined because the alleged offenses were of the "same or similar character."

Due to the nature of the charges and the victims involved, the particulars of the case have been largely sealed to the public.

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