Aloha man convicted, sentenced over assault
An Aloha man whom prosecutors said held a woman against her will and assaulted her was convicted and sentenced to 130 months in prison on Thursday, Dec. 20.
Patrick Michael Paluda was arrested in June by members of the inter-agency Washington County Tactical Negotiations Team and tried in Washington County Circuit Court. He was charged with two counts of first-degree kidnapping, second-degree assault, strangulation, coercion, menacing, and multiple drug and weapons charges.
According to prosecutors, the county's SWAT team responded to reports of a disturbance in the 20700 block of Southwest Bingo Lane in June. Upon arriving, Detectives Pat Tapley and Mark Povolny of the Washington County Sheriff's Office reportedly found that Paluda had trapped a woman in the house he was renting. To prevent her from escaping, Paluda allegedly screwed the doors and windows of the house shut, modified the garage door to lock from the outside, and threatened her with a gun.
Prosecutors described the case as a domestic violence incident.
"In this case, we observed an escalating level of violence that spanned nearly a year and a half," the Washington County District Attorney's Office said in a statement released Friday, Dec. 28. "While the victim was reluctant to participate in this prosecution, the criminal justice system is sometimes obligated to intervene and ensure the safety of everyone in our community."
The jury convicted Paluda on 10 of the 14 original charges he faced. Thirteen of those charges were taken to trial, with one for unlawful possession of heroin being dropped in November, according to court records.
Paluda was acquitted of both charges of kidnapping, as well as unlawful use of a weapon. He was convicted of assault, strangulation, coercing, menacing, possession and delivery of methamphetamine, possession of cocaine, and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
A jury also convicted Paluda of fourth-degree assault and harassment, misdemeanor offenses with which he was originally charged in February, earlier in December. That earlier case, which involved the same victim, was consolidated with the felony charges after they were brought.
Paluda has previous criminal convictions on his record in Washington County for cocaine possession and second-degree criminal mischief.