portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reposts oregon & cascadia

police / legal

Trial Begins For Perverted Eugene Cop Roger Magana: Media is Shut Out

Police even get special treatment after they have been charged with sex crimes.
Eugene -
Jurors are settling in for a long trial in the case against former Eugene Police Officer Roger Magana.Prosecutor Bob Lane started this morning by displaying a blown up image of a Eugene police officer badge.

He told jurors "The power that comes with that badge is what this case is all about."

He then outlined some of the testimony jurors can expect to hear from alleged victims in the weeks to come.

Defense attorney Russell Barnett kept his opening statement short, focusing on the Eugene Police Departments's high-tech ability to keep tabs on it's officers.

"He's either the slickest guy working with the dumbest people or perhaps the accusations don't add up."

The six man, six woman jury and four alternates began hearing testimony from alleged victims this afternoon.

They will hear from as many as 80 defense witnesses throughout the trial including from people with authority who had heard before about Magana's alleged abuse but took no action.

Prosecutor Lane describes several of the alleged victims as having drug and mental health problems and others who are very different.

He says they all were carefully chosen as easy targets for intimidation and abuse.

Magana faces 52 charges ranging from official misconduct to rape.The trial continues Tuesday.

 link to kval.com

The prosecution started by outlining the allegations against former officer Roger Magana from ten different women. Deputy D.A. Bob Lane grouped the alleged victims into two categories. One, women known to police, through prior arrests or calls, for things like drug or alcohol offenses, prostitution or domestic abuse. The other women, according to Lane, fall into the category of being in "the wrong place at the wrong time." This includes a sub-category for a teenager who went on several ride alongs with the former officer.

The prosecution's key evidence includes Magana's business cards, which Lane says were given to many of the women after the alleged attacks. Also, Magana's cell phone bills, which were sent to a P.O. Box, and paid for in cash. Lane says, this was done to hide from Magana's wife, the quote "thousands of calls" going to other women.
Lane also points to Magana's police notebook, which contains some of the alleged victims names and phone numbers. And, a woman's sweat pants, stained with semen, that the prosecution claims, can be linked to Magana.

The defense attacked the credibility of the alleged victims. Attorney Russell Barnett says, the women have a "MOB" mentality. He says, they have a "Motive": money (many are suing the city). They have an "Opportunity": an accused officer. And he claims, they have a "Bias": many had run-ins with the law before, and don't like the police department.

Barnett also argued, how could Magana hide these acts from the department, he was even promoted to training officer during this time. Barnett said, "He's either the slickest guy working with the dumbest people, or perhaps the allegations don't add up."

The prosecution also called its first witness this afternoon. Testimony will continue next week. It could take as long as six weeks before the defense has a chance to present its witnesses.


Journalists live for close ups. Sometimes, you get more than you ask for, as was the case with accused killer Stella Kiser in 1999. She spat at our photographer.

But, look for a shot of Roger Magana, the former Eugene police officer accused of sex abuse, and you'll likely find only one, at his arraignment last December.

Lane County Court Administrator David Factor explains, "Our interest, number one, is ensuring the security of the courthouse, of the people involved in this case, and all other people involved in the matter."

The press is viewed by some in the courts as a disruption. Currently, all cameras are kept behind a yellow line in the courthouse, but for the high profile Magana trial, there's a new set of rules posted.

Now, no location within the courthouse is available for taping or broadcasting of news reports. That means all interviews must be done outside. Plus, photographers will not have access to photograph Magana upon arrival or departure from the courthouse or jail. Factor says, "It's a little different from our usual practice in anticipation of the high interest from the media and the public."

But even Kip Kinkel had more photo op's than Magana, at his arraignment, and, as he was transported from jail to the courtroom. Factor explains, "We've learned things in how we handle high profile cases since that time."

What they say they've learned, is that cameras and reporters interrupt the day to day business at the courthouse. While it may appear to some Magana is getting special treatment, the courts assure us, it's because of the high profile nature of the case, not his former job as a police officer.

Roger Magana faces 52 charges including sex abuse, rape, sodomy, coercion, and abuse of power. He pleaded not guilty to all the charges.


Magana also liked to pick on U of O students 04.Jun.2004 21:56

Tyler Wells twells1@gladstone.uoregon.edu

Roger Eugene Magana joined officer Melvin Thompson to investigate a noise complaint at a students' residence. The two officers arrived at the apartment of Phillip Piper and Julie Dickenson on Nov. 6, 2002, knocked on the door and obscured the peephole when Piper came to answer it, according to an official complaint. When the officers finally identified themselves, Piper became suspicious of their actions and refused to open the door without a warrant or visual identification. The officers then contacted a maintenance person, and demanded a key to Piper and Dickenson's apartment. Back at the scene of the "crime," the officers entered the apartment, ordered the people inside to sit on the couch and ransacked the rooms for more than an hour.

Nothing was found. No party was in progress. No meth was on the cooker.

The officers cited the tenants for a noise violation, which was later dropped in Eugene Municipal Court. The tenants, who have since sued, said the only noise coming from their apartment was a radio that wasn't even playing very loudly.


Just Too Funny 04.Jun.2004 22:56


"he was even promoted to training officer"

That actually made me laugh out loud. Has anyone seen "Training Day" starring Denzel Washington? Priceless.

To last commenter 05.Jun.2004 01:27

there is nothing funny about this case

Unless you think a cop forcing a woman to fucked up the ass against her will is funny. He also coerced women to give hime oral sex, in fear of getting arrested because they all had a criminal history. The police department turned a blind eye, untill ONE person spoke out and launched and internal ivestigation. Many other officers knew, but there's the code of silence. They will most likely come to his defense in court with the help of the police union. And if you want to talk about loose cannon, rouge cops, recruting, getting promoted, and training cadets, look in your own city: Officer Joe Luiz.

You're Absolutely Right 05.Jun.2004 01:40


It's Friday and I've obviously had too much to drink. I apologize - you're right.

To neon 05.Jun.2004 02:00

poster "To last commenter

No need to apologize. Thanks for your comments. In all honesty, I have been drinking too. I didn't mean to go off on you. Sorry, and thanks.

This Magana deserves to rot in hell 06.Jun.2004 21:28

pissed off in Eugene

And so does his defense attorney.
Roger Eugene Magana
Roger Eugene Magana

Sadness 21.Jun.2004 19:05


What I find very sad about this whole situation, is how everyone that knew of his actions, turned a blind eye. If you read about different accounts, he was either by himself or with numerous other officers. They go by this one's house with two officers, that one's house with these two officers. What in the hell are those officers doing still on active duty. Hello! I happen to know several people that are either family members or friends of Magana. Some say he is guilty. I only wonder as all this unfolds, if any of their names come up in the trial for the people that had the party where underage drinking occured and he took them off to assault them. So a cop who maybe making about $45,000 a year on the high side with a wife that is believed to also work for the City, County or State whatever, were residing in a home they purchased for $250,000 + dollars and sold for roughly 400,000. Come on! So long story short...The poor guy had to sell all his bi-screen tv's that he had for multi rooms in his house, and all of his toys as well as his home to pay for legal fees and probably to avoid confiscation or seize by the FBI or the people that are suing the City and inevitably the officer. Who could possibly feel sorry for this man? How his wife didn't see anything that was taking place is beyond me. Or did she? Nothing has really been said about that now has it. This is like a soap opera. I don't know about you but when I see a Eugene Police Officer all I can think of is utter disguist and disrespect for the badge. Not all officers are like Magana and Lara. But what the Cheif of Police and the City of Eugene doesn't want to admit is there are many more that abuse their authority. I can't wait to watch it unfold.

quick and easy to judge 28.Aug.2004 22:18

sick by his actions also

I read every article that I could and heard every news account. I too am sickened by what this officer did to those innocent women, but many of you came to the belief that other officers knew what was happening and choose to "look the other way". I know many of the Eugene police officers and believe me they are not happy about this either. Why would they sit by and not tell anyone or do anything? What would they have to gain by no action. They have now been looked down upon, and doubted. Why are the police officers out there? Most of them love their job and do it well. The lack of respect, the doubts, and the accusations have only made their job even more difficult. I am glad that the victims had the courage to come forward and tell the gruesome story of what happened to them. I hope that we all learn the peramiters of a police officers authority by hearing how they were coercied. I hope that we all learned to question why? But I also hope that we have learned that this was one man , not a whole police force and definately not all police officers. Most of these men and women really are on duty to protect and to serve, they put their lives in jeopardy in order to possibly save yours and mine. So when you think of Roger Magana, question the man, not the badge or the uniform.