Courts & Crime

Oregon man accused of killing his family was a convicted child molester

Before Jordan Adam Criado allegedly committed the worst mass murder in Medford, Ore., history on Monday, the 51-year-old sex offender left a series of helpless young victims behind in Sacramento two decades ago.

Criado, who is suspected of stabbing his 30-year-old wife and four children to death, then setting their house on fire, is in guarded condition in a Medford hospital suffering from smoke inhalation.

Police in Medford, just north of Ashland, told The Mail Tribune that they are waiting for Criado to recover before arresting him in the deaths of Tabasha Paige-Criado and their four children, who ranged in age from 7 to 2.

Criado apparently had lived in Medford for several years without running afoul of authorities, the Mail Tribune reported, except for a 2005 arrest on a fugitive warrant that landed him in jail in California for failing to register as a sex offender.

That sex offender history stemmed from Criado's guilty plea in Sacramento Superior Court in 1990 to eight counts of child molestation. He originally faced 36 counts, but took a plea deal that gave him a 20-year sentence – the maximum available – for his five-year history of abusing three victims ranging in age from 6 to 12.

One of his victims is now a 34-year-old government worker who spoke about the case to The Bee in 2007.

She was 7 when the abuse began, and she did not tell anyone what had happened until she was pulled out of a gym class at her middle school and sent to the principal's office.

Waiting for her were a detective and Cindy Besemer, a Sacramento County prosecutor who is now District Attorney Jan Scully's chief deputy.

Besemer remembers the case to this day, how she postponed heading off on a Christmas vacation to try and talk to the girl.

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