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Georgia Pastor Arrested in Connection to Three Portland Sexual Assault Cases, Confirms DNA Evidence

A 41-year-old pastor from Georgia has been apprehended by law enforcement officers in connection with multiple sexual assault cases in Portland, according to the District Attorney’s office.

Helio Ferreira, a pastor in Valdosta, Georgia, was arrested on December 3 by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office. He is now facing serious charges, including two counts of first-degree sodomy, two counts of first-degree kidnapping, three counts of first-degree rape, one count of first-degree sexual assault, and one count of identity theft.

The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office alleges that Ferreira sexually abused three women in separate incidents in 2012, 2016, and 2018. The indictment states that in November 2012, Ferreira engaged in sexual intercourse with a victim who was unable to provide consent due to mental incapacitation or physical helplessness.

In September 2016, Ferreira is accused of kidnapping another woman and compelling her to engage in sexual intercourse and other sexual offenses. Furthermore, the indictment claims that in September 2018, Ferreira kidnapped a third woman and forced her into sexual intercourse, along with committing identity theft against her.

The connection between Ferreira and these three cases has been established through DNA evidence, as confirmed by the indictment.

A neighbor named Russell Behnke recognized Ferreira’s mugshot and recalled that Ferreira had taken over a house owned by his stepfather, hosting parties that disrupted the neighborhood.

“He slipped in here, and we didn’t know. We knew he had never told us to watch over his house. And they were having huge parties and stuff in the back and making noise and keeping us up kinda at night,” said Behnke.

Helio Ferreira is currently in the custody of the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office. The investigation into these cases is being carried out by the Portland Police Bureau’s Sex Crimes Unit and the Hillsboro Police Department.

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