Arrest of Portland man highlights reality about child sex abuse

Arrest of Portland man highlights reality about child sex abuse »Play Video
Johnathan Black is shown with other parents at some kind of party in this photo taken from Sunset High School's baseball team website.

BETHANY, Ore. -- The arrest of Johnathan Black this week highlights a harsh reality about child sex abuse.

While stranger on stranger abductions wind up as high-profile and highly covered by the media, most cases of sex abuse involve perpetrators within the victim's social circle of family and friends.

"Almost every single time, it's someone they know, it's someone they or their family has had some kind of trust in to some degree," explains Sgt. Bob Ray with the Washington County Sheriff's Office.

Ray told KATU On Your Side Investigator Anna Canzano on Wednesday that sheriff's office detectives discovered Black had made his home a place friendly for teenage boys, using marijuana and alcohol as part of his plan to lure them in. Detectives believe he has at least five victims -- the youngest just 12 years old -- and that the sexual abuse took place over five years' time.

Black's wife has a Facebook page portraying a suburban family life like many others. There are pictures of the Blacks at the pumpkin patch and at a wedding. They appear to have three children, two teenagers and a young boy.

A photo on the Sunset High Apollos' baseball team website shows Black at a team party with other parents.

A message sent to the team via its Facebook page had not been returned by Wednesday evening.

"When you look at Mr. Black on the outside, when you look at his situation (he) looks like a normal guy. He looks like somebody who is just a normal guy, lives in a neighborhood, lives a normal type life," said Ray. 

Canzano has also uncovered that Black has worked at two hospitals. She confirmed with Legacy Health that Black worked in security at Emanuel Hospital in North Portland between 1997 and 2003. KATU News reported Tuesday he's currently at Oregon Health and Science University as an emergency transport coordinator and has no direct contact with patients.

Detectives believe Black has other victims who still haven't come forward. Ray is hoping they will find the courage to do so, or at least confide in a trusted adult who will contact authorities.

He said investigators first contacted Black last fall when a child told his parent Black had touched him inappropriately. That parent reached out to the Oregon Department of Human Services and DHS notified the sheriff's office.

Asked by Canzano about the timeline and why an arrest didn't take place earlier, Ray said detectives spent hundreds of hours interviewing witnesses and collecting evidence "because we only have one chance at putting this case together, and we wanted to make sure we did it right."