Milton-Freewater man accused of sex crimes

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MILTON-FREEWATER -- An area man was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of viewing and encouraging children to have sex.

Jerry Dean Simpson, 66, was booked into Umatilla County Jail by sheriff's deputies, and is being held on $250,000 bail.

According to reports by the East Oregonian newspaper, Simpson is believed to have carried out the abuse at an in-home child care center. Simpson was charged and arraigned Wednesday afternoon at the Umatilla County Courthouse in Pendleton.

Simpson is facing three counts each of watching children in a sexual display and encouraging child sex abuse in the second- and third-degree, according to information from the Umatilla County Jail.

The statute for using a child in a sexual display is a Measure 11 crime in Oregon that carries a minimum prison sentence of five years, 10 months upon conviction, the EO reports. Umatilla County Deputy District Attorney Simonne Weyand told the newspaper the statute also applies to when someone watches children have sex.

Weyand's request to have Simpson's bail set at $250,000 was granted by Judge Garry Reynolds on Wednesday. Simpson did not enter a plea, but said he had hired attorney Sam Tucker, who is also Milton-Freewater's city judge, according to reports. Simpson's next court appearance is Wednesday at 1:15 p.m. before Reynolds.

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