A Newberg man sentenced to prison in the 1990s for crimes that made him infamous in town history, didn't outlive his sentence for those crimes.
Andrew Lee Boyer, 59, died Sunday, Dec. 27, while in custody at the Oregon State Penitentiary in Salem. He was under hospice care in the infirmary of the prison, according to a release from the Oregon Department of Corrections.
Boyer was convicted in January 1998 in Yamhill County Circuit Court of multiple crimes after his arrest on allegations he had sex with four boys ages 12 to 18 and a mentally handicapped man, despite knowing he was infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
All of the boys had learning disabilities and were students at an alternative school near Boyer's apartment at the intersection of Elliott Road and Haworth Avenue. Two of the boys testified during the trial that Boyer enticed them to the apartment with alcohol, cigarettes and marijuana before sexually abusing them.
Boyer denied endangering the youths and said he didn't intend to harm them despite his HIV diagnosis. All of the victims tested negative for the disease after Boyer's arrest.
In January 1998, Circuit Court Judge John Hitchcock sentenced Boyer to more than 50 years in prison on charges of attempted murder, first-degree sexual abuse and second-degree sodomy. Dropped were additional counts of attempted murder, sodomy and sexual abuse. Boyer's earliest release date was scheduled for August 2048, according to the DOC release.
Boyer's actions represented as "low a level in society as one could imagine," Hitchcock said during sentencing.
The prosecutor in the case, former Chief Deputy District Attorney Cal Tichenor, said Boyer preyed on the boys because he believed they wouldn't report him due to their learning disabilities.
Boyer's conviction was appealed to the U.S. District Court in Oregon, then the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, both who found that given the evidence presented at trial it was reasonable that Boyer would be found guilty on the attempted murder, sodomy and sexual abuse charges.
"The question on appeal was not whether Boyer was guilty of the more than 20 counts of sexual offenses including sexual abuse, sodomy and attempted sodomy, for the sexual abuse of four victims (who could not consent because of either age or mental capacity)," the Court of Appeals found. "The appeal was challenging the additional conviction of attempted aggravated murder for having had unprotected anal sex with two of his victims. Boyer argued that there was no proof presented that he actually intended to kill his victims by exposing them to HIV, while the prosecution analogized Boyer's actions to "placing a time bomb in a city street and not knowing if someone would be there when it went off."
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