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Man pleads guilty to sexually abusing mentally ill woman

David William Back, 43, pleaded guilty Friday to sexually abusing a mentally ill woman he met at the Compass House clubhouse for people with mental illness.

Staff members at the Medford clubhouse said he would not be allowed to return.

Back, who suffers from mental illness himself, pleaded guilty to third-degree sexual abuse in Jackson County Circuit Court and was sentenced to 60 days in the Jackson County Jail with credit for time he has already served. He has been held in jail on $500,000 bail since his August 2015 arrest.

Back was also sentenced to three years probation and any treatment deemed necessary by Jackson County mental health workers.

Back and the woman met at Compass House, a place for people diagnosed with mental illness to socialize, learn work skills, advance their educations and get help finding safe, secure housing.

The woman said she went with Back to his room at the Rogue Valley Inn in Medford, where he tried to engage in sexual activity with her despite her pushing his hand away and telling him to stop. She said she was scared and traumatized by the incident, which she reported to police two days later.

Speaking in court Friday, Back apologized for the incident.

"I'm ready to press on with my life and do the recommendations of the court," he said. "I'm very thankful to do Jackson County mental health and probation for three years. It will be a very good support for me."

Back has a criminal history that includes burglary, methamphetamine possession and driving under the influence of intoxicants, court records show.

Compass House Executive Director Matthew Vorderstrasse said the clubhouse does not conduct background checks on members, many of whom have committed crimes related to their mental illness. Background checks would cause many members to be excluded.

However, members must be referred to the club by clinicians and cannot pose a current safety risk, Vorderstrasse said.

Staff reporter Vickie Aldous can be reached at 541-776-4486 or valdous@mailtribune.com. Follow her at www.twitter.com/VickieAldous.

David William Back