By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes
A Keizer couple has been arrested for an inappropriate sexual relationship with a minor.
Casey Wenger, 33, and his wife, 31-year-old Rosa Wenger, were both arrested Thursday, March 20.
In addition to holding state jobs, both were also volunteers with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue team.
Sgt. Chris Baldridge, public information officer for the MCSO, confirmed Friday morning the Wengers have been terminated from the Search and Rescue team. The MCSO had received a complaint the Wengers had engaged in an inappropriate sexual relationship with a 17-year-old volunteer.
Since the Wengers reside on Tynel Court NE in Keizer, deputy chief Jeff Kuhns with the Keizer Police Department got a call from the MCSO on Monday morning. KPD officers had been investigating the case since then.
“We contacted Casey on Thursday and arrested him for one count of sex abuse in the second degree,” Kuhns said Friday. “We took him in to custody in the mid-afternoon, then picked up his wife last night.”
Kuhns said officers on late Friday morning were in the process of obtaining a search warrant for the couple’s home, which was taped off Thursday evening.
Casey was employed at the Oregon State Hospital. Rebeka Gipson-King, a spokesperson from the hospital, said on Friday Casey was “not on a paid status.”
Rosa’s Facebook page lists her as having been employed at the Oregon Office of Administrative Hearings and as an office specialist for the state since October 2007. Her page also lists being an MCSO Search and Rescue volunteer since September 2003.
Tom Fuller, director of communications with the Oregon Employment Department, confirmed on Friday Rosa is an Office of Administrative Hearings employee.
“She is currently an active employee,” said Fuller, noting Rosa indeed started her job in October 2007 after first working for the state as a temporary employee in 2004.
“Casey came to the Keizer Police Department voluntarily and was then arrested,” Kuhns said. “Then after that we went to (Rosa’s) place of employment and interviewed her all night long.”
In addition to the sex abuse charges, both Wengers were also charged with multiple counts of Encouraging Sex Abuse I; 30 counts for Casey and 20 for Rosa.
Kuhns said those counts are not for photos of the identified victim.
“The 30 counts are related to other, unidentified minors,” Kuhns said. “It pertains to child pornography. Each image is counted as a charge. We have only identified the one victim so far. We’d be interested in knowing if there are more victims.”
Anyone with more information about the case is asked to contact detective Ben Howden with the KPD at 503-390-3713 ext. 3525.