GRAPHIC WARNING: This article contains graphic details that may be disturbing.
The Oregon man accused of exploiting, abducting and sexually abusing a 13-year-old girl from Edmonton was in court for a detention hearing Wednesday.
An Oregon District judge ruled Noah Madrano, 41, will remain behind bars until his trial.
His defence lawyer argued for his pre-trial release, saying his parents had put down bail money for his Clackamas County charges. The lawyer said his client promised to appear at all his court appearances and would agree to strict restrictions, including 24-7 “sight and sound surveillance” and electronic monitoring.
“I’m not ignoring the seriousness of the federal charges and the state charges… (but) given the complexity… limitations… his ability to attend these cases, we believe the electronic monitoring and sensory supervision, that the community would be safe. I don’t see Mr. Madrano going anywhere.”
The lawyer for the U.S. government argued Madrano’s parents cannot possibly supervise him 24-7 and he’d still pose a risk to others and is a risk to flee. She argued that Madrano showed a history of disrespecting his parents’ money and disrespecting the law — even attempting to commit crimes after he was arrested, she alleged.
“He is facing, functionally, life in prison in two separate legal systems and has very much less to lose,” the lawyer for the U.S. government argued. “The incentive for him to take additional risks now and flee from prosecution or commit crimes against additional victims is higher than it’s ever been.”
She said there is no condition (of release) or combination of conditions that would be sufficient in this case aside from pre-trial detainment.
The judge denied the request for Madrano’s release.
“There is overwhelming evidence that leads to clear and convincing standards that the defendant poses a risk of safety to the community as well as a risk that he will not appear,” the judge said.
In making her decision, the judge said she considered the nature and circumstances of the offence, the violence and the minor victim.
“There’s no need to reiterate all of the allegations here, suffice to say these are some of the worst allegations I have heard.”
“Of course there’s a presumption of innocence… but here I consider the strength of the evidence presented to me, and the government has made a strong case.”
Madrano is facing charges at the U.S. federal level, state level as well as in Alberta. Madrano made his first appearance in U.S. federal court on Monday. He was arraigned and pleaded not guilty. A five-day jury trial is scheduled to begin on Dec. 13.
“If convicted, Madrano faces a maximum sentence of life in federal prison with a 15-year mandatory minimum,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office states.
He was arrested July 2 in a hotel room in Oregon and charged after a 13-year-old girl from Edmonton was kidnapped outside her school.
An indictment was unsealed in U.S. federal court Monday, along with a news release from the U.S. Department of Justice.
On Sept. 20, a federal grand jury in Portland returned an indictment charging Madrano with travelling in interstate or foreign commerce with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct, sexually exploiting a child, transporting a child interstate with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, and possessing child pornography.
An indictment is an accusation of a crime and none of the charges have been proven in court.
According to court documents and proceedings, Madrano met the child online and allegedly sexually exploited her for more than a year. The U.S. Attorney’s Office alleges he kidnapped her, sexually abused her, recorded some of that abuse, drove her across the U.S. border to a hotel room and continued to abuse her. Court documents reveal the same girl was found in Oregon hotel room where he was arrested by FBI and Oregon police officers.
She was taken into protective custody and returned to her parents in Canada.
Both the girl’s parents had statements read at Madrano’s detention hearing Wednesday.
“She does not sleep. She does not eat. She is an outcast. He has ruined her,” the girl’s father said.
“There is no way to protect our child’s pain, fear, loneliness, anxiety… We cannot escape the torment of this man,” he said.
The Edmonton father said his daughter is a shell of who she was.
“She was taken in person and in spirit.”
The only solace for the family, he said, is that the accused is in prison.
In her statement, the girl’s mother argued the accused is a risk to hurt others and a risk to flee.
“We find reassurance in his detainment… to maintain safety and reduce potential harm to others.”
In a statement after the judge’s decision, the girl’s family said, in part:
“We are pleased with the judge’s decision to further detain Noah Madrano within the federal system.
“Given the total of 15 charges against him that span two countries, it is clear to see Madrano poses a risk to children in both physical and virtual communities.
“Madrano deserves to be punished to the full extent of the law.”