Medford man gets 72 years for sex abuses

William Henry Thompson is sentenced for 26 counts of rape and sodomy involving daughter and friend

A Medford man was sentenced to 72 years in prison Tuesday for more than than two dozen counts of rape and sodomy perpetrated against his daughter and another young victim.

William Henry Thompson, 50, spoke defiantly before Jackson County Circuit Judge Tim Barnack sentenced him to 870 months, said David Orr, Jackson County deputy district attorney.


The Jackson County Child Abuse Network, a coalition of local agencies led by United Way, is dedicated to raising community awareness about child abuse. Call the network at 541-773-5339 to find out how you can help. If you suspect a child is being abused, call the police or the Jackson County Child Welfare Office at 866-840-2741.

"He was defiant until the end," Orr said, adding Thompson refused to sign the sex offender registry. "He called the girls liars, said they were after his possessions, said his attorney didn't do a good job defending him, and he threatened to appeal this conviction."

Thompson's case is one of the most disturbing in memory, said Orr, who spent three days laying out Thompson's twisted path from grooming to rape to methamphetamine addiction to sexual torture.

On Sept. 7, the Jackson County jury that heard the case returned 26 guilty verdicts — 14 of which were for Measure 11 charges, he said.

Thompson's abuse of his daughter began when she was about 12 and continued into her high school years, Orr said.

The daughter's friend also was drawn into Thompson's web of sexual perversion. Neither knew the other was being abused because Thompson had them so under his control, Orr said.

The second victim eventually told her story to someone at school. The series of interviews that followed eventually led to Thompson's arrest.

Both victims are now in their early 20s. They each testified on the stand for hours, telling of their experiences before a room filled with strangers, facing direct examination from Orr and a cross-examination from Thompson's defense attorney, Christine Herbert.

Orr said there are at least two other victims who have come forward alleging Thompson abused them. But they did not want to testify, he said.

Barnack praised the two women for having the courage to come forward. The judge told them "they have value as human beings," Orr said. "He urged them to go on with their lives and be happy."

At Tuesday's sentencing, the second victim did not speak. But Thompson's daughter spoke directly to her father in a halting voice and through tears, Orr said.

"She said 'I love you. But I hate you,' " Orr said.

Reach reporter Sanne Specht at 541-776-4497 or email

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