A longtime Multnomah County Health Department employee has been charged with sexually assaulting a minor. Police say he may have used his position at the health department to meet potential victims.
Sandy Ortiz, 64, was arrested in San Diego on August 11 and extradited to Multnomah County, where he faces two charges of sex abuse in the first degree. Combined, these two charges could place Ortiz behind bars for up to 20 years.
The Portland Police Bureau (PPB) says the investigation into Ortiz's conduct began in May, when his alleged victim came forward to report being abused by Ortiz between 2000 and 2001. The victim was 14 years old at the time.
According to Multnomah County records, Ortiz was working as a medical records clerk at the county's Northeast Health Center on NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd at the time of the alleged abuse.
Since 2007, Ortiz has been working in the county's McCoy Building in downtown Portland.
A PPB media release sent Thursday notes that detectives believe Ortiz "may have victimized more people" via his employment at the county.
Multnomah County spokesperson Julie Sullivan-Springhetti says the county first heard of the allegations against Ortiz on June 28, and placed him on administrative leave on July 2. Ortiz resigned on July 16. Not long after, Ortiz travelled to Mexico, and then Southern California, to visit family, according to court documents. He was arrested by US Customs and Border Protection officers in San Diego.
In a court interview, Ortiz told officers he fled to Mexico after learning there may been a warrant issued for his arrest. Ortiz is being sentenced this morning.