A Medford man was being held Monday on $1 million bail, facing allegations that he met more than a dozen teen girls online, sent them explicit nude photographs, and sexually abused at least three of them, police said in a news release.
A Jackson County grand jury indicted Christian Alexander Sanchez, 20, of the 2300 block of Highgate Street, Medford, on numerous sex crime charges. Court records list 27 charges, including nine counts of first-degree sex abuse, four counts of third-degree sex abuse; two counts each of third-degree rape, using a child in a display of sexually explicit conduct and online corruption of a child; and charges of fourth-degree assault, coercion, second-degree sexual abuse, third-degree and attempted first- and second-degree sodomy, and first- and second-degree unlawful sexual penetration.
"It was a very involved, complicated case," said Lt. Mike Budreau.
Sanchez was arrested Thursday during a traffic stop on West Jackson Street, near McAndrews Road, Medford police said. Court records show Sanchez gave an Ashland address as his place of residence, but police said he had stayed at both homes off and on.
Budreau said the investigation of Sanchez has been going on for months.
Rick Sanchez, Christian's father, said police are investigating behavior stretching back to when his son was in high school. He said none of the incidents were malicious in nature.
"It was high school and high school parties that they're at and high school things that they did," Rick Sanchez said. "They're basically attacking a high school student."
Police dispute that, however, saying the charges are all recent.
"Our charges stem from summer of 2011 to April of 2012," Budreau said.
Police seized Sanchez's phone, and during an investigation found nude pictures of underage girls, along with evidence that he had sent them nude and explicit photographs of himself.
"Through our forensic evidence, we found out he was engaging in what's commonly known as sexting with multiple underage girls," Budreau said. "He's meeting these girls through, basically, Facebook and other online or file-sharing apps."
Investigators suspect Sanchez was involved with more than a dozen girls between the ages of 13 and 16. Detectives believe he engaged in sexual activity with at least three underage girls. The girls are all from Southern Oregon, many from Medford, Grants Pass and Ashland.
Court records show separate charges of online sexual corruption of a minor and telephonic harassment against Sanchez were dismissed in May.
He has a pretrial hearing in the current case scheduled for Monday, Nov. 5.
Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or by email at email@example.com.