Ex-Eugene Cop Gets 94 Years
Ex_Eugene Cop Roger Magana was sentenced to 94 years in prison after being found guilty of 42 sexual offenses.
From <a href=" http://www.registerguard.com/news/2004/07/14/a1.magana.0714.html">The Register-Guard</a>
by Rebecca Nolan
The quiet reserve maintained by the family of Roger Eugene Magaņa crumbled Tuesday as a judge announced that the former officer would spend the rest of his life in prison.
Family members lunged at victims in a brief courtroom scuffle, as onlookers and deputies tried to control the chaos.
No one was injured, but the outburst of emotion contrasted with the silent stoicism of Magaņa and his family throughout the monthlong trial.
Defiant to the end, Magaņa continued his claims of innocence and berated his victims and former colleagues for launching the investigation that resulted in his conviction last month on 42 charges including rape, kidnapping, sodomy and sexual assault.
Calling the former Eugene police officer a "pathological liar" and a "petty tyrant preying on vulnerable women," Lane County Circuit Judge Karsten Rasmussen sentenced Magaņa to 94 years in prison.
Because many of the charges carried mandatory minimum sentences under Measure 11, there's little hope of early release for Magaņa.
"Today your tyranny is over," Rasmussen said.
As deputies led the shackled man away, his mother, Rita Roberts, pleaded with the judge.
"Your honor, your honor, may I hug my son before you take him away?" Roberts asked.
Rasmussen ignored her request. Magaņa's aunt, Gloria Vaneekhoven, shouted, "We love you, Roger."
"You love a rapist," one of Magaņa's victims shouted back, prompting members of Magaņa's family to yell and in some cases grab at the victims.
"He's not a rapist," Vaneekhoven said, sobbing. "How can you say that?"
Magaņa's attorney, Russell Barnett, had asked the judge for a lesser sentence of about 20 years.
"That would certainly solve anyone's blood lust or vengeance that they may have," Barnett said, turning toward the gallery. He urged the judge to resist pressure from the community for a longer sentence and mentioned the Jim Crow laws of the Southern states.
"I am terrified of someone being sentenced in response to public outcry," he said.
In his first public statement about the case, Magaņa, 41, apologized in court to his family for their pain and suffering.
Former Eugene police officer Roger Magaņa is led away to jail after being sentenced to 94 years in prison. He maintained his innocence in a statement to the court before the sentencing.
Roger Magaņa's wife, Kimberly, hugs a family member with Magaņa's father nearby before the former Eugene police officer was sentenced Tuesday to 94 years in prison for his conviction on 42 charges including rape and kidnapping.
Photos: Chris Pietsch / The Register-Guard
Miriam Olson, one of Magaņa's victims, hugs detective Scott McKee after the sentencing. The Register-Guard ordinarily does not identify the victims of sex crimes, but Olson has chosen to speak publicly about the case, saying Tuesday she was pleased with Magaņa's sentence.
Photo: Thomas Boyd / The Register-Guard
He told his wife he was proud of her and that he would always love her and their two boys.
"You are the treasure of my life," he said.
He then spent 15 minutes chastising the women he is convicted of abusing, calling their testimony "lies" and "fabrications." Magaņa at times tried to speak to them directly, and the judge ordered him to address the court only, not his victims.
"I want to publicly say that I've never raped anybody in my life," he said, dressed in a green jail jumpsuit. "I've never kidnapped anybody. I've never sodomized anybody. I've never sexually assaulted anybody."
Magaņa mentioned two women by name and said, "You guys were never raped - not by me anyway." He said that the only person worse than a rapist is a woman who falsely accuses someone of rape.
He claimed never to have met some of the women. And he said he was saddened to be betrayed by women he had tried to help.
Magaņa warned one woman that by testifying against him she had burned every Eugene police officer and that no one would help her now if she ever needed police assistance.
He also scolded the prosecution and judge and said the Eugene Police Department never should have investigated the women's allegations.
"You guys took the wrong side," he told his former co-workers.
He gloated about the millions of dollars in lawsuits filed against the city, saying, "You guys should have thought about that before you decided to investigate this."
He ended his statements on a threatening note.
"This is far from over," he told the court. "People think, `The monster's gone,' but this isn't over."
Rasmussen called Magaņa's statement to the court "remarkable."
"You're still trying to victimize the women here," the judge said. "I conclude that you are a pathological liar."
Three women also addressed the court, and a fourth submitted a letter that was read aloud. They described the fear and emotional harm Magaņa caused and asked the judge for a long sentence.
One woman called Magaņa a "unique monster" among hard-working, well-intentioned police officers. She thanked the jury for believing her and the other women.
Another woman said medication and costly therapy have done little to soothe her trauma.
"I want him to live with the reality of the title of being a sexual predator, abuser and stalker," she told the court. "Because that's what he is - he just hid it under a uniform."
Magaņa has said he will appeal the conviction. Alex Gardner, interim district attorney during Doug Harcleroad's temporary retirement, said there was no obvious basis for an appeal.
He said Magaņa's remorseless attitude at sentencing was unusual.
"It's a bad plan," Gardner said. "To me, it felt like he was standing up and challenging the judge to hit it out of the ball park."
Eugene police Capt. Steve Swenson called Magaņa "an unrepentant sociopath."
"To the end, he took one last opportunity, one last time, to exert control over his victims," Swenson said. "It was disgusting."
Magaņa was hustled out of the courtroom after the sentence was handed down, and his family was allowed to leave through a back door to avoid the media. Family members believe that Magaņa is innocent and have vowed to fight until he is free.
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