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St. Helens man indicted on 20 child sex abuse charges


Investigators say teen victim reported abuse dating back when she was 5 years old

A St. Helens man was arrested and indicted on 20 counts of child sex abouse earlier this week.

Joseph Mace, 55, was arrested Tuesday by Columbia County Sheriff's Office deputies after a victim came forward after nearly 10 years of abuse, the Sheriff's Office reported.Mace

Mace's charges include sodomy, rape, sex abuse and unlawful sexual penetration, an indictment shows.

Mace is in custody at the Columbia County Jail on bail of $1.49 million, with the full bail amount required.

"The investigation took several months to be completed," a Sheriff's Office news release states. "The victim, now 17, told investigators that the suspect [had] sexually abused her from the time she was five years old." The indictment alleges Mace sexually abused the victim, who was younger than 12 at the time, starting in 2001. The abuse continued between May 2005 and May 2006.

The man is charged with raping the victim, identified as his spouse's daughter, sometime between 2009 and 2010. She was younger than 12 at the time.

Similar abuse allegations were reported in 2015, when the victim was younger than 16.

Mace's charges are considered Measure 11 crimes, meaning each comes with mandatory minimum sentencing that cannot be reduced. Court documents show Mace most recently lived at an address in the 2100 block of Oregon Street in St. Helens.