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Alleged molester was hired to monitor visits

Abeating victim who allegedly sexually assaulted two minor girls was approved by Jackson County child protective services to supervise visitation between the girls and their father, a local attorney said.

Medford attorney Tom Petersen represents two teen girls who allege that Mark Alexander Tabor, 23, sexually molested them in their home on Aug. 11 while performing the duties of a volunteer supervisor for the Department of Human Services.

Petersen said Tabor abused the girls "in a violent manner." The attacks included forcible kissing, biting, fondling and digital penetration, he said.

Jackson County court records show Tabor is charged with one count each of first-, second- and third-degree sexual abuse. He is being held in jail on $300,000 bail.

Tabor was in the home because DHS approved him to supervise visitation between the girls and their father, Petersen said. An earlier incident of alleged domestic violence between his clients' parents has not resulted in charges. But DHS ordered that the father's visits with the girls be supervised, he said.

Petersen said one of his clients and their mother told him a DHS caseworker told them that Tabor was the person cleared to supervise the visits.

DHS offices were closed Friday because of state budget cuts. Calls from the Mail Tribune to the cellphone of Doug Mares, the Department of Human Services district manager for Jackson and Josephine counties, seeking information on DHS policies and whether Tabor had been approved by DHS to supervise the visits, were not returned.

According to the DHS website, non-employees who supervise visitations must provide written documentation to caseworkers within seven days. They must understand the dynamics of the individual family, the purpose of supervision and the specific circumstances that require the supervision, and they must comply with the child's ongoing safety plan.

Oregon court records do not show any criminal history for Tabor prior to the sexual abuse charges.

Christopher Garrett, 19, one of the men accused of attacking Tabor on Saturday night, was previously approved to be the supervisor for the father's visits, Petersen said.

Tabor, who is known to the victims' mother, overheard Garrett explaining to the parent he was moving and would no longer be able to perform that function. Tabor then volunteered himself for the supervisory position, Petersen said.

"(Tabor) conducted a couple visits with the children's father and visited the house," Petersen said.

Medford police say when Garrett learned of the alleged attack, he and Moses LaPorte, 18, drove Tabor to the remote Elderberry Flats campground, about 20 miles north of Rogue River, and allegedly beat him with a baton.

Police said the men were armed with a baton and a wrench. Tabor was allegedly struck in the head with the baton before fleeing. He caught a ride and was dropped off at a gas station in White City, where he called authorities.

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

LaPorte and Garrett were arraigned on attempted murder and second- and third-degree assault charges Monday afternoon. They were being held on $750,000 bail each in the Jackson County Jail.

All three have preliminary hearings scheduled at 4 p.m. Monday, Aug. 20. Court records show no prior criminal history for LaPorte or Garrett in Oregon.

Reach reporter Sanne Specht at 541-776-4497 or email sspecht@mailtribune.com.