A Medford man discovered by police in bed with a 7-year-old victim pleaded guilty to four Measure 11 sex crimes in Jackson County Circuit Court Wednesday morning and was sentenced to 25 years in prison.
Gregory Dean Looper, 55, pleaded guilty before Judge Tim Barnack to two counts of first-degree rape and two counts of using a child in a display of sexually explicit conduct.
Barnack sentenced Looper to 300 months each on the rape charges and 70 months each on the other charges. The sentences are to run concurrently.
Barnack also ordered Looper to register as a sex offender, to undergo a lifetime of post-prison supervision, and to pay restitution to the victim, who was known to him.
In August 2012, Medford police received a digital camera from an unidentified person who dropped the camera off at the station but declined to leave any further information, said J. Adam Peterson, Jackson County deputy district attorney.
After obtaining a search warrant to look at the camera's contents, and with assistance from the Southern Oregon High-Tech Crimes Task Force, police retrieved more than 50 images from the camera that depicted an unidentified adult male sexually abusing a young girl, Peterson said.
"The police had images of a little girl and male body parts," said Peterson. "This is a law enforcement officer's worst nightmare. You know you have a victim in harm's way, a child who is actually being abused."
Within 24 hours, MPD detectives and Medford Area Drug and Gang Enforcement officers were able to piece together information and serve a search warrant at Looper's residence, he said.
"It was a long night," Peterson said. "We knew we had to act now."
When police arrived at Looper's residence, Looper was discovered partially dressed and in bed with a 7-year old child, the victim in the case, Peterson said. Looper soon admitted he was the man in the images and was placed under arrest, Peterson said.
On Aug. 28, Looper was indicted by a Jackson County grand jury on two counts of first-degree rape, three counts of using a child in a display of sexually explicit conduct and three counts of first-degree sexual abuse. The remaining counts were dismissed as part of the plea agreement, Peterson said.
Peterson praised the cooperative effort between the DA's office and police for "holding the line against the exploitation of children," and for ensuring Looper stays behind bars until he is 80 years old.
Looper declined to make a statement at the sentencing, other than to render his four guilty pleas. His public defender, Bob Abel, said Looper was remorseful.
Barnack said he hoped the little girl would receive counseling and ultimately heal from the "horrendous acts" perpetrated by Looper.
"I hope for her sake that she grows up putting this behind her as best she can," Barnack said, adding he assumed Looper wished the same for the child.
The victim's mother wept, and declined to comment.
Reach reporter Sanne Specht at 541-776-4497 or email email@example.com.