Court Docs: Apartment manager clutched teen's throat, held her against wall

Court Docs: Apartment manager clutched teen's throat, held her against wall
Phillip Banuelos, 40, appears in court Monday, June 9, 2014. He is charged with two counts of sex abuse.

BEAVERTON, Ore. -- A Beaverton apartment manager accused of violently attacking a 13-year-old girl faced a judge for the first time Monday, charged with two counts of sex abuse.

Phillip Banuelos, 40, sexually assaulted the teen while she walked with a friend around 8 p.m. Saturday near Southwest Jenkins Road and Ecole Avenue, according to court documents the On Your Side Investigators obtained Monday.

Banuelos is an apartment manager at the nearby Sunset Ridge Apartments located at 2435 S.W. Ecole Ave. in Beaverton, according to several residents at the complex. The Washington County Sheriff's Office could not confirm Banuelos' job title but provided his home address, which matched the complex.

Documents state Banuelos pinned the teen down on the ground with both hands on the teen's upper chest and neck area. Witnesses also saw Banuelos grab the girl from behind, hooking his arms under her arm pits and dragging her south across Southwest Jenkins Road. Once he got to the south edge of the road, documents state, he turned around and dragged her back north across Southwest Jenkins Road again.

Banuelos was "highly under the influence of an unknown controlled substance," according to investigators.

At one point, the documents state, Banuelos chased the teen into a breezeway of the Castlewood Arms apartments located at 13555 S.W. Jenkins Road nearby. The victim told investigators that Banuelos picked her up by the neck with both hands around her throat and held her against the wall. She stated that she was about a foot off the ground and struggled to breathe. While against the wall, the victim said Banuelos banged her head against the wall several times.

The teen shared her story with KATU on Sunday, describing a terrifying attack coupled with death threats.

The On Your Side Investigators checked into Banuelos' background. He did not have anything violent on his criminal record but he was convicted of two DUII's, the first in 2001 and the second in 2007. His name did not appear on the state's sex offender registry.

By late Monday, Banuelos was still in the Washington County Jail on $250,000 bail and a judge ordered him not to have any contact with the victim.

KATU attempted to speak to a woman who appeared at the court hearing for Banuelos but she refused to comment.

The On Your Side Investigators also went to the Sunset Ridge office for answers. A man in the office described himself as a temp and refused to answer any questions. Instead, he directed our questions to his supervisor but did not provide that man's number or last name. The temp said his supervisor would return calls. He never did. Other attempts to reach the office manager or supervisor were unsuccessful as the office door was locked.

Some digging into the Sunset Ridge apartments found they used to be called the Chateau Ecole, and Washington County property records indicate Chateau Ecole LLC owns the property. The records provide a Vancouver, Washington address but no phone number. Another registry states MOB Investments Inc. is the property owner and provides the same Vancouver address. Again, there was no phone number. KATU spent several hours attempting to track down the property owner.

The On Your Side Investigators also checked into security for tenants at the apartment complex since at least one tenant expressed concerns that Banuelos had access to all apartment keys.

The On Your Side Investigators didn't find any state laws or rules that require apartment complexes to change the locks or screen managers or employees. However, we learned it's good business practice.