EUGENE, Ore. — A homeless man in Eugene has been convicted of raping a woman he met at a campsite.
Michael Eastman, 28, faces at least eight years in prison under Oregon’s sentencing law. Prosecutor Robert Lane, however, wants Eastman classified as a dangerous offender, which would allow a sentence of up to 30 years.
The woman told police a man appeared at her campsite last July and told her he was going to rape her. She says the man attacked her, dragged her into a brushy ditch and beat her.
A passer-by heard the woman yell for help and phoned police. Officers found the victim naked, bruised and bleeding from numerous scratches.
Lane County Judge Debra Vogt, who heard the case without a jury, barely paused after Friday’s closing arguments before finding Eastman guilty, The Register-Guard newspaper reported.
The victim spent about an hour on the witness stand Wednesday describing the assault and her effort to stop it.
Eastman, meanwhile, testified that the woman was a heroin user and prostitute who consented to sex in exchange for money. He acknowledged beating her in an ensuing dispute over money. “I’m not a rapist,” he said. “I’m not a kidnapper.”
Eastman must undergo a psychological evaluation before Vogt can rule on the prosecutor’s request to have him deemed a dangerous offender.
Under Oregon law, a person can be labeled a dangerous offender if he or she has committed a serious felony and has been found to have a severe personality disorder that is likely to lead to other violent crimes. Seven years ago, Eastman was convicted of burglary and attempted sexual abuse after breaking into a motel room and fondling a girl. A report from that period noted that he had a psychiatric history going back to age 11. A sentencing date will be scheduled when the exam if finished.