Medford man accused of abuse fights return from Pennsylvania

A Medford man arrested in Pennsylvania after a Facebook tip helped end his attempt to escape a fugitive warrant charging him with 20 counts of felony sexual assault is fighting efforts to bring him back to Oregon to face the charges.

Laramie Torres, 35, was arrested Feb. 12 in Erie, Pa., on a warrant charging him with 10 counts of first-degree rape and 10 counts of first-degree sodomy. Medford police alleged that Torres sexually abused a Medford girl over several years, beginning when she was 11 and continuing until she was 15.

Torres was indicted on the rape and sodomy charges on Nov. 22, but fled Oregon, authorities said. Friends and family of the victim set up a Facebook page to collect tips to help police track him. A tip from a Michigan man directed police to Pennsylvania, where Torres was arrested without incident. He appeared in Erie County Court Wednesday and refused to waive his right to extradition proceedings.

The Jackson County District Attorney's Office received notice of Torres' legal move and has prepared paperwork to send to Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski to seek a governor's warrant, calling for the fugitive's return, officials said. The Oregon governor's office will process the request and send it to Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, who will forward the warrant to Erie County, where Torres is now being held without bail.

Torres then can demand another hearing, forcing prosecutors in Pennsylvania to prove that the person they have in custody is the same person identified in the Oregon warrants.

The process, which is standard across the nation, can take three to four weeks, officials said.

Reach reporter Anita Burke at 541-776-4485, or e-mail

Share This Story