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Zane William Carpenter was sentenced Thursday after pleading guilty to one count of first-degree sodomy and two counts of first-degree sexual abuse

CROOK COUNTY JAIL - Zane CarpenterA Prineville man was sentenced to 25 years in prison Thursday for sex abuse crimes involving three young victims.

Zane William Carpenter, age 72, was sentenced by Circuit Court Judge Daina Vitolins after pleading guilty to one count of first-degree sodomy and two counts of first-degree sexual abuse. The sentence included no eligibility for any form of early release from custody, a provision for both lifetime supervision and registration as a sex offender. The sentence was the result of a negotiated plea resolution.

In September 2020, the Crook County Sheriff's Office received a report that Carpenter had sexually abused three young children. The reporting party indicated the sexual abuse happened many years prior but was ongoing for quite some time. During the course of the investigation, it was determined that the abuse started as early as 2005 and was ongoing until 2012.

The investigation uncovered that Carpenter had groomed his victims over the course of many years. According to Crook County District Attorney Wade Whiting, grooming is a process by which the offender gradually breaks down natural boundaries to normalize sexual behavior with young children. As a result of his grooming behavior, Carpenter was able to maintain the abuse in secrecy for several years before the victims came forward and disclosed the length and extent of the abuse.

"Child victims face many barriers that often prevent immediate disclosure of sex abuse," Whiting said. "Children often lack the knowledge needed to recognize sexual abuse and lack the ability to articulate what happened to them. Children often fear they won't be believed when they try to disclose because of the power differential between the child victim and adult perpetrator. It is not uncommon for child victims to delay disclosing for several years."

Det. Javier Sanchez of the Crook County Sheriff's Office led the investigation and arrested Carpenter shortly after the disclosures were made. KIDS Center provided invaluable support by conducting a forensic interview and providing support to the victims' family.

At sentencing, Carpenter stated, "I do accept responsibility for all of I have done. None of the [victims] are responsible. I am guilty for what I have done. All I can do is ask for forgiveness -- hope and pray there will be healing someday."

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