The Jessica Morton Story Continues
Grants Pass, OR – As Jessica Morton continues to raise funds to defend herself, from what could amount to ten years in prison if convicted, Morton has learned that the burden of proving her innocence is, as she puts it, “anything but what I was taught to believe.” Jessica Morton, a former supervising skills coach at Kairos Three Bridges psychiatric treatment facility in Grants Pass, is facing six criminal charges – one felony and five misdemeanors, for claims of sexually abusing a man while under her care. Tyler Watson (19), the man making the claims, had been a resident of Kairos, while in custody of the Oregon Youth Authority in 2014, for committing various felony crimes.
Kairos is reported to house both male and female residents, ages 17-26 years-old and have facilities in Merlin, Grants Pass, Medford, North Bend, Eugene and Salem. The residents are wards of the state, who are basically in-between jail and needing treatment before being reintroduced into society.
Within one week, Morton went from receiving the “employee of the month” award at Kairos, to being jobless. The allegations sparked an investigation that took police over one year to investigate, resulting in Morton being labeled a sex abuser (not alleged) by the mainstream media, via the Grants Pass Police Department. In a press release, “approved by: Chief Landis,” Tyler Watson was labeled as a “victim,” while the Grants Pass Police, “revealed that Jessica Morton had sexual contact with a male (Tyler Watson).” Maybe by “revealed” the police mean that when they made Jessica Morton take off her clothes on July 17, 2014 while they photographed her nude body, they were able to determine that she, “groomed herself” as Watson vaguely alleged. Maybe by “revealed” they meant that a mole on her body was confirmed which was also vaguely alleged – unfortunately their so-called investigation didn’t uncover other evidence that would have easily refuted the credibility of that allegation. Needless to say, Jessica Morton was completely violated in what this writer believes was solely based off of a completely circumstantial and false allegation.
So, why wait over one year to arrest Morton? The police would have you believe it was because of their “lengthy investigation,” and, “scientific analysis of evidence.” After having read the police report and investigating this case myself, I find that impossible to believe.
Several other employees of Kairos’ other facility, who were not personally known by Morton, were fired and arrested on completely unrelated incidents shortly before Jessica Morton was arrested – over one year after the allegation against her was first made, and “investigated.” The headlines against these other two were large and the public outcry was great. Coincidentally, there was an upcoming vote for a public safety levy. What a better way to demonstrate to the public the District Attorney’s Office’s pursuit of justice than to ride the Kairos headlines and add another Kairos employee to the mix. Two weeks after their arrests, Jessica was arrested and the headlines were equally damning. However, Jessica Morton came out swinging in an article first released by the US~Observer trumpeting her innocence, and it went viral. With that article and her outstanding stature in the community, there was an immediate backlash against the DA’s office. Some Morton supporters have even speculated that this was the reason the ballot measure failed so miserably.
Regardless of what happened, you’re supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, right? Today, the police simply rubber stamp a half-assed report (I’ve earned the right to call it that, because I’ve read it), write a media release, and the mainstream publishes, and a prosecutor indicts – you’re basically halfway into your little prison cell, all without having stepped into a courtroom.
Sound like innocent until proven guilty?
So, the evidence should, without any doubt, substantiate ruining Jessica Morton’s life. After all, she was fired, losing her ability to help provide for her four-year-old daughter. She has had her mug shot published all over television and across the internet. She’s been publicly labeled guilty by the Grants Pass Police Department, and she is facing ten years in prison, from charges brought by Josephine County District Attorney Ryan Mulkins, with assistant Matthew Corey prosecuting. Most difficult for Morton, she has had to humbly ask her closest relatives, friends, and complete strangers for help financing a $50,000.00 defense, which is actually cheap considering the charges she is facing (attorneys usually charge $300 per hour for similar cases).
Still sound like innocent until proven guilty?
What about Tyler Watson? There is no doubt that Grants Pass Police Detective John Lohrfink believed this guy. So, why would Lohrfink believe him? Did Detective John Lohrfink conduct a thorough investigation?
Lohrfink manufactured the case against Morton by creating and leading witnesses who were not witnesses. He subtly changed the answers that people gave to his questions through the simple use of “suggestion.” These created witnesses are in for a real surprise – they will eventually have to get on a witness stand and testify under oath. At that time they can all rest assured that I will document each “suggested” answer and then I will make each coerced answer public knowledge.
While reading the 52 page police report, it was obvious that Tyler Watson lied several times during multiple police interviews. Whether his lies were small in nature or not, these are serious criminal allegations, and lies should not be permitted – ever. The lies were not only permitted, Detective Lohrfink didn’t even acknowledge most of them.
Tyler Watson has been arrested for multiple felony crimes, including first degree theft and delivering drugs in a school zone – both felonies in Oregon. Recently, according to online information, Tyler Watson was arrested on June 29, 2015 for three probation violations, including first degree theft, a crime of dishonesty. Additionally, Watson had a reputation at Kairos of falsely accusing others before he falsely accused Morton. He has allegedly abused methamphetamines since the age of thirteen-years-old, and was reportedly caught using “meth” during his stay at Kairos. Tyler Watson has been prescribed pharmaceutical drugs for diagnosed mental disorders. Tyler Watson was in Kairos for a reason. According to numerous witnesses, Tyler Watson was the one who was attracted to Morton. Was her rejection of him, more than he could handle? Do residents of Kairos have the ability to manipulate the “system?” According to several sources, apparently so, and they have confirmed that it only takes an allegation to be fired by Kairos.
Unsubstantiated accusation, speculation, insufficient evidence, rush to judgment and a suspect that was unwilling to cooperate (Jessica would not speak or work with police after her first interview with them, when they repeatedly told her to admit that she was guilty), that is what this writer has concluded about Jessica Morton’s false arrest and false criminal charges. I work on cases similar to Jessica Morton’s for a living – often spending many, many days reading police reports, talking to witnesses, going over court transcripts, you know – investigating. Never have I seen a case that exemplifies poor policing, poor investigative skills and poor oversight by superiors in my eight years of reporting. I hope this comment is not taken lightly, because I often try to help the government when possible, just like I did in Jessica Morton’s case.
Evidence not obtained by police which the US~Observer has gathered throughout our investigation was offered to District Attorney Ryan Mulkins. I am talking about compelling evidence that proves the charges against Morton should never have been filed. Evidence that someone whose job is to, “serve justice” should desire.
Recently, I went to a meeting with Ryan Mulkins, which was scheduled for the purpose of sharing evidence beneficial to Morton. Mulkins had told us that he would bring a new Detective into the case – that he, “needed something to work with.”Mulkins showed he was keeping his word, as Grants Pass Chief of Police Bill Landis and Detective Moran entered the room, sat down and placed their tape recorder in the center of the table, ready to record.
At this point, assistant prosecutor Corey shut us down – he didn’t want to hear the evidence. Corey displayed a “Napoleonic” personality. He acted like a “little” god, who thinks he possesses ultimate power over those around him. District Attorney Ryan Mulkins totally backed down as Corey took over. The meeting ended without any evidence shared.
Although the evidence – or lack thereof – will set Jessica free, it will not repair the damage done by police and prosecutors. I know crime goes unpunished in Josephine County, and I believe there are some good, honest police officers in Grants Pass. All it takes is one to ruin it for the rest. In this case there is more than one member of the justice system responsible for the damage to Jessica Morton, her family, and her career. I hope that one day, the government, whether it be local or national, will start listening to the people, and stop putting their careers (paycheck) before the very people that they are supposed to serve.
Editor’s Note: We have chosen to withhold most of the evidence in this case until the appropriate time. Although we would love to report on it now, we have reason to believe that Jessica’s defense has been compromised. Her public defender, Erin Biencourt, who had initially worked on Jessica’s case, withdrew as Jessica’s attorney just after taking a job… with the PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE. Now, the very person who knew the bulk of Jessica’s case is working for the very people who are attempting to put Jessica Morton behind bars. Furthermore, certain elements of her case that were originally non-issues are being pursued by detectives – with the alleged help of her previous public defender. I’ll venture to say, that in light of this issue, the recent work by detectives is for the purpose of building a stronger prosecution, not with the intent of serving justice.
If you, or anyone you know has been wrongfully terminated by Kairos, or wrongfully arrested as a result of an accusation by a resident at Kairos or if you have any information regarding Jessica Morton’s case, I strongly urge you to contact the US~Observer. Have you been abused by Grants Pass Police “Detective” John Lohrfink, Grants Pass “Detective” Dan Evans or Josephine County Assistant Prosecutor Matthew Corey? If so, be responsible and call 541-474-7885. Jessica Morton’s next court date is set for September 21, 2015.