More victims claim abuse by retirement home owner

Herbert "Howard" Sahnow is on 24/7 house arrest

Herbert Sahnow mugshot
Herbert Sahnow, Feb. 22, 2016 (Washington County Sheriff's Office)

HILLSBORO, Ore. (KOIN) – New charges have been filed against a 72-year-old man accused of sexual abuse as more alleged victims have come forward.

Herbert “Howard” Sahnow was arrested by Forest Grove police on February 22. According to police, Sahnow is the owner and operator of “The Elms,” a retirement community located on the 2000 block of Elm Street.

Hours after his arrest, Sahnow posted bail and returned to the retirement facility where the alleged crimes occurred.

Sahnow was re-arrested. The Washington County DA’s Office did not file any charges against Sahnow for reportedly violating his release order. Because he had already posted bail, and due to the fact that no new charges had been filed, Sahnow was released from custody.

The first indictment, filed February 22, charges Sahnow with 1 count of first-degree sexual abuse, 7 counts of first-degree burglary, 17 counts of third-degree sexual abuse, and 3 counts of third-degree sexual abuse. According to court records, police identified at least 7 victims.

On March 14, a grand jury issued a second indictment against Sahnow that charges him with 5 counts of third-degree sexual abuse, 2 counts of first-degree burglary, and 1 count of attempted third-degree sexual abuse. Three additional victims were reportedly identified.

A misdemeanor complaint was also filed on March 14 that charges Sahnow with 4 counts of third-degree sexual abuse. According to court records, an additional 2 victims were identified.

On Tuesday, the DA’s Office sought to have Sahnow’s bail increased. The motion to increase his bail was withdrawn by the prosecutor after a release agreement was reached between the state and Sahnow’s criminal defense attorney.

Sahnow is on 24/7 house arrest, according to court documents. The only time he will be able to leave is when he has a medical or legal appointment. When he is outside the house, he will be required to have his wife present to supervise him. Sahnow has agreed not to leave the state while the case is pending.

He has retained criminal defense attorney Stephen A. Houze. When reached by phone on Wednesday, Houze declined to comment on the pending cases.

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