Defense attorney argues sentence doesn't fit the crime, after Terry Iversen was convicted of pleasuring himself on a Hillsboro MAX train in 2016

IversenA registered sex offender with a history of performing lewd sexual acts in public will spend the rest of his life in prison, a Washington County judge ruled last week.

Terry Eugene Iversen, 49, was sentenced Friday, March 10, to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole after he was convicted of masturbating on a MAX train shortly after he was released from prison.

Public indecency is a misdemeanor, but Iversen's charge was upgraded to a felony because of his past sex-related convictions.

Iversen was arrested on Oct. 12, 2016, after a woman claimed he was masturbating in his seat while riding a MAX train through Hillsboro.

Oregon has a "three strikes" law for sex offenders who don't stop committing sex crimes.

Iversen's attorney, Tyler Beach, argued that Iversen should receive eight years in prison because he wasn't trying to harm anyone when he committed the crime. Beach argued that Iversen's are driven by mental health issues.

Iversen was released from a more-than-12-year prison sentence in May 2016. According to Beach, Iversen was undergoing sex offender treatment, which was having "a positive impact on him and his way of thinking."

Iversen was riding MAX on his way to the Washington County Corrections Center where he was living that October, when he began to experience unwanted sexual urges, Beach said.

"Instead of acting as he had in the past, trying to force people to see what he was doing, (Iversen) quietly sat on a bench seat in the train and placed his backpack and jacket … along the aisle, to block anyone from seeing what he was doing. (Iversen) then quietly masturbated."

A 23-year-old woman sitting in front of Iversen called police when she saw Iversen pleasuring himself, Beach said. Iversen was arrested when he got off the train.

Iversen pleaded guilty to a charge of public indecency charge on Jan. 24, in part because he did not want to make the woman testify, Beach said.

Iversen has a long criminal history, including rape, sodomy, burglary and unlawful use of a weapon. He has six prior convictions for public indecency, including two felonies.

In 1989, Iversen was convicted of raping a 15-year-old and sodomizing a 12-year-old girl. In 2000, Iversen was convicted of public masturbation, a felony because of his previous convictions.

In 2006, Iversen was sentenced to more than 12 years in prison after he led police on a chase through Cedar Mill, crashing into three people and two police cars. Witnesses said Iversen had been following young girls around a shopping center.

Iversen is also linked to a public indecency case from September 2016, after a man was caught on surveillance pleasuring himself on a MAX train, according to court documents. No suspects were ever arrested in that case.

Iversen has been sentenced to treatment for sexual offenders at least five times, but has never completed the program.

Deputy District Attorney Allison Brown called Iversen's crimes "appalling" and said he has proven himself unable to reform.

"He is a sexual predator," Brown wrote in court documents. "… The defendant's lifetime of sexually-deviant behavior is not going to change."

Beach argued that a life sentence was unconstitutional in Iversen's case. Last year, the Oregon Supreme Court threw out the life sentence of a sex offender convicted of public indecency, saying the sentence was disproportionate to his crimes.

The Tribune's news partner KOIN 6 News contributed to this report

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