A Hammond man was convicted Thursday of first-degree rape and other sex crimes.
Mark Paiz Jr., 63, faced more than a dozen sex crime charges in connection with raping one woman in 2017 and sexually abusing another woman in 2016, who, due to her mental condition, was not able to consent.
In a three-day trial, a jury found Paiz guilty of one count each of first-degree rape, first-degree sodomy, first-degree sex abuse and first-degree unlawful sexual penetration.
The jury — eight women and four men – included 10 people that found Paiz guilty of all charges. Oregon is the only state to still allow verdicts in felony trials, with the exception of murder, that are not unanimous.
Paiz will be sentenced later this month.
“I know that (the victims) will be appreciative of the verdict,” said Chief Deputy District Attorney Dawn Buzzard, who prosecuted the case.
Paiz met his first victim, who has dementia, in Astoria in the fall of 2016 while she was reported missing to the police.
Paiz invited her over to his home for a meal. He invited her to stay the night and then sexually abused her in his room, according to trial testimony.
The victim was found three days after her disappearance on Paiz’s porch by an off-duty police officer. She was brought to Columbia Memorial Hospital in Astoria and was evaluated for dehydration and for symptoms of a diabetic crisis, since she had been without insulin for three days.
At the hospital, however, staff were alarmed at what appeared to be hickies on her neck and by the fact that she mentioned some form of sexual activity with her husband — whom she had not seen in three days — and decided to alert the police.
Paiz, who represented himself in court, denied the allegations.
“I’m the type of a person who likes to respect others, especially those like her who are not well,” Paiz said through a translator.
About seven months after the first incident, Paiz met his second victim at the bus station in Astoria. He took up a dinner invitation one night from the victim, but then shortly after moved into her home uninvited.
He stayed there for a little over three months and sexually assaulted her multiple times, the woman testified.
After being assaulted in September, the victim decided to call her brother to tell him what was happening. He called Warrenton police, who took the victim to the hospital.
Though fit to aid and assist in the trial, the state asked the jury to consider the fact that the second victim also experienced a degree of mental impairment from a previous brain injury and requires a caseworker to help manage her day-to-day living.
“She’s a little more vulnerable than we are,” Buzzard said.
Paiz again denied the allegations, arguing he always had permission to have sex with her.
“I never did anything forcefully ... that’s where the mistake is,” Paiz said through a translator in his closing argument.
Paiz was also arraigned and pleaded not guilty on Thursday to two counts of first-degree sex abuse and two counts of first-degree sodomy for allegedly having sex with a 9-year-old between 2013 and 2014.