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Accused vigilantes plead guilty in beating of sexual assault suspect

Two men accused of a vigilante attack against a man who allegedly molested two teenage girls entered guilty pleas today in Jackson County Circuit Court, supported by friends, family and the alleged sexual assault victims' mother.

Christopher Garrett, 19, pleaded guilty to attempted second-degree assault, and Moses LaPorte, 18, each pleaded guilty to second-degree assault.

The pair were charged with attempted murder and second- and third-degree assault related to their alleged actions in retaliation for suspected sexual assaults perpetrated by 23-year-old Mark Alexander Tabor.

LaPorte and Garrett have been held in the Jackson County Jail on $750,000 bail each. Each were sentenced to probation today.

Tabor remains in Jackson County jail on $300,000 bail, charged with two counts of first-degree sexual abuse, one count of second-degree sexual abuse and five counts of third-degree sexual abuse for allegedly attacking two girls who are sisters on Aug. 11.

"It is very important you don't take the law into your own hands," Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Benjamin Bloom said.

LaPorte and Garrett apologized for their actions.

Medford attorney Tom Petersen told the Mail Tribune in late August that he represents the two girls who allege Tabor sexually molested them "in a violent manner" in their home. Tabor inserted himself into a family situation, Petersen said, adding Tabor's attacks included forcible kissing, biting, fondling and digital penetration.

Hours later, LaPorte and Garrett allegedly attacked Tabor in retaliation.

Armed with a baton and a wrench, the pair drove Tabor to the remote Elderberry Flats campground about 20 miles north of Rogue River and beat him, police said. Tabor was allegedly struck in the head with the baton before fleeing. Tabor managed to get a ride with someone, and was dropped off at a gas station in White City, where he called authorities, police said.

After the alleged attack, Tabor was taken to Rogue Regional Medical Center, where he was treated and released before being subsequently arrested by Medford police.

— Sanne Specht

Read more in the Mail Tribune on Thursday.