This version of the story has been updated.
Medford police have arrested five men on misdemeanor sex charges for allegedly having sexual contact with a 16-year-old boy they met online.
Investigators expect to arrest three more men who live outside the area and are suspected of having sexual contact with the same teen, police said in a news release today.
The boy's parents discovered in November that he was having sex with men he sought online through Craigslist and smartphone apps. The parents contacted police, who launched an investigation. The Southern Oregon High Tech Crimes Task Force assisted with the investigation.
Oregon law prohibits adults from having sexual contact with children under the age of 18. Adults who have sex with minors 15 years of age and under are charged as felons.
"It's misdemeanor partly because of the victim's age," said Lt. Mike Budreau of Medford police. "He actually missed (the cutoff) by days of it being a felony."
The investigation revealed that the boy met about 10 men online, police said. The boy engaged in sexual acts with these men, sometimes on multiple occasions. The locations varied and most of the acts occurred at the suspects' homes, police said. The boy told the men he was 18 years old if they asked.
Detectives identified eight men who engaged in sexual contact with the boy. On Wednesday, Medford police arrested five of the suspects, interviewed them and lodged them in the Jackson County Jail.
Dameon Knapp, 30, of Medford; Kristopher Brooke Mix, 24, of Phoenix; Paul John Garcia, 50, of Grants Pass; James Douglas Coey, 24, of Medford; and Tobias Kenneth Hoffine, 25, of Medford, were arrested on charges of third-degree sexual abuse and contributing to the sexual delinquency of a minor. Bail for each was set at $8,000. Only Garcia and Coey remain in jail.
Investigators plan to get warrants for three additional men who live outside the area but are suspected of engaging in similar conduct, police said.
— Anita Burke