CENTRAL OREGON MAN SENTENCED TO 25 YEARS FOR CHILD SEX ABUSE. Louis Apo, 74, abused children over 6-year period
December 15, 2020
A 74-year-old Central Oregon man with no criminal record was sentenced to 25 years in prison for sexually abusing two young neighbors over a six-year period.
Louis Taiyon Apo lived in La Pine from 2012 to 2018, when he repeatedly sodomized and sexually assaulted two girls living next door. Apo was living near Culver at the time of his arrest in October 2019.
“This family has been turned absolutely upside down,” said prosecutor Stacy Neil. “The victims continue to suffer and will likely suffer for the rest of their lives. The state does not believe that the defendant deserves a break nor an opportunity to get out of prison. He has done too much damage and presents too high of a risk to the community.”
Apo was sentenced last month in Deschutes County Circuit Court for one count of first-degree sexual abuse, one count of second-degree sexual abuse and two counts of unlawful sexual penetration.
The state had asked Judge Wells Ashby to give Apo 25 years in prison, while his defense requested 15 years. Ashby went with the state’s recommendation.
In the state’s sentencing memo, Neil wrote that both victims had experienced mental health issues as a result of the abuse. One of them, now 12 years old, had engaged in cutting, Neil said.
The 12-year-old victim told police the abuse occurred “more times than (she) could count.”
“She gave a significant amount of detail about the various incidents in childlike terms,” Neil wrote. “She described feeling empty and sad inside when these things would happen to her.”
Apo was born and raised in Honolulu and worked various jobs in the San Francisco area for most of his career. In 2010, he retired to Oregon with his wife. Before this case, he had never been arrested, nor had he been investigated for similar accusations.
At the time of the abuse, Apo and his wife lived in a neighborhood next door to the victims and their family. They became close, the victims’ parents testified, to the point Apo and his wife were considered “adoptive grandparents” who regularly provided child care.
In October 2019, one of the girls made an anonymous report on La Pine Middle School’s 1st Step system, which issues iPads to students to report concerns. She said her younger sibling was acting suicidal. Both children ultimately confided to police that Apo had abused them numerous times.
Police learned the abuse was wide-ranging in nature and had occurred over six years. Apo used a bamboo stick to “whoop” the children when they talked out about the abuse.
Apo was arrested that month and charged with 15 felony counts of child sexual abuse. Following his arrest, a third sibling came forward saying Apo had abused him in a similar fashion. The state agreed to not go back through a grand jury to add the third child to Apo’s indictment, if Apo agreed to plead guilty.
In his sentencing memo, Apo did not dispute the state’s allegations against him.
“Mr. Apo has expressed … that he wants the victims and family to know that he is sorry,” his attorney, Matthew Baughman, wrote. “He wants the victims and family to know that he cannot undo the harm he has caused. He wants the victims and family to know that he accepts and deserves any sentence the court deems fitting.”
Baughman argued for a lighter sentence in part due to Apo’s age.
“Fifteen years might be all the life that Mr. Apo has left,” Baughman wrote. “For him, in all likelihood a 25-year sentence will only be completed by virtue of death. There will not be that sliver of hope that he will one day be released. For a man of his age there is only the inevitable.”
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