Support Local Journalism!        

Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.

FONT & AUDIO

MORE STORIES


Themba Kelley, 51, faces 11 charges on an accusation of physically, sexually assaulting a woman in Gresham.

COURTESY PHOTO: MULTNOMAH COUNTY SHERIFFS OFFICE - Themba KelleyA 51-year-old man with a long criminal history of targeting women was indicted Tuesday, Aug. 27, for allegedly kidnapping, raping and sexually and physically assaulting a 43-year-old woman in Gresham.

In a Multnomah County grand jury indictment, Themba Kelley faces 11 charges — first-degree kidnapping, first-degree rape, two counts of first-degree sodomy, first-degree unlawful sexual penetration, two counts of first-degree sexual abuse, second-degree assault, third-degree robbery and two counts of strangulation.

The investigation began on Aug. 14 when Gresham Police officers responded to the 18300 block of Southeast Stark Street on reports that a woman was being held captive and sexually assaulted by a man, later identified as Kelley.

Gresham detectives said the woman met Kelley on Aug. 13 at Laurelhurst Park in Portland. According to court documents, he identified himself as "Themba Spirit" to the victim, and spent time that afternoon helping repair her vehicle. The victim told law enforcement she went with Kelley to his motel room after he offered to let her shower and do laundry.

Once inside the room, Kelley became aggressive and threatening toward the woman and started to assault her, court documents stated. For more than an hour, Kelley allegedly brandished a firearm and used physical force to rape the woman and commit other sex crimes.

Law enforcement said the woman struggled to get away, but Kelley prevented her from leaving. Court documents say Kelley broke the woman's arm and strangled her during the struggle. He also allegedly made several threats to shoot and kill the woman while she was being held captive.

At some point, the woman was able to contact friends by phone. Those friends called 911. She escaped the motel room and contacted police as they arrived on scene.

The attack allegedly occurred while Kelley was on probation for a 2016 conviction stemming from an incident involving a 16-year-old girl who called 911 to report a stranger inside her bedroom. For that incident, Kelley pleaded no contest to burglary and attempted sex abuse in January 2019, and was sentenced to one year in jail — with credit for time served — and three years probation.

Kelley is the same man police said groped a teenage girl in the bathroom of a southwest Portland Baskin-Robbins in 2014, and was arrested again a few months later for violating parole by approaching a 12-year-old girl at her northeast Portland home.

According to the court documents, Kelley has a criminal record dating back to 1989 in four states. In January, when he was sentenced for breaking into the girl's room, he said he was taking steps to address his mental health issues.

Law enforcement is requesting assistance in determining whether there are additional victims. Detectives said Kelley has represented himself as a life coach for vulnerable community members, particularly those who do not have a permanent residence. He has used the alias of "Themba," "Themba Kelly," "Themba Spirit," "Themba Spirit Kelly," "Themba Hasaan Kelley," "Themba H. Kelley," "Temba Spirit," and "Spirit Themba."

Anyone with information is asked to call Gresham Police Detective Tony Cobb at 503-618-2365 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.


Have a thought or opinion on the news of the day? Get on your soapbox and share your opinions with the world. Send us a Letter to the Editor!

Go to top
JSN Time 2 is designed by JoomlaShine.com | powered by JSN Sun Framework