When an out-of-state woman moving to Bend replied to a Craigslist ad about a room to rent, she had no idea the horrors in store for her at the home on Klippel Road.
The woman describes living in fear of being drugged and sexually assaulted at the hands of her housemate, according to newly released court documents.
Eric Bill Jonsson, 54, was arrested Dec. 14 and booked him into the Deschutes County jail, where he is awaiting trial for first-degree rape and second-degree sex abuse, according to court records.
Jonsson in Deschutes County jail on $200,000 bond and represented by court-appointed attorney who didn’t return a call seeking comment. Jonsson is scheduled to enter a plea in circuit court at the end of February.
During the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office’s investigation, authorities uncovered disturbing behavior at a local bar, a second victim and a 15-year-old conviction involving Jonsson with many similarities to the current accusations.
The investigation began Dec. 11, when Sheriff’s Deputy Liam Klatt responded to St. Charles Bend, where hospital staff had conducted a sexual assault exam on a woman claiming to have been raped by a man who rented her a room, according to a sheriff’s office search warrant seeking additional evidence, including social media communications. Jonsson was a tenant, and it’s unclear if he was renting with the approval of owners.
She lived in the house for about a month. She grew so uncomfortable with Jonsson, she told police that she never went there without being accompanied by her boyfriend.
She said Jonsson was “constantly” offering her alcohol and pills, according to court documents. He reportedly entered her room without being invited, made sexually inappropriate comments and alluded to spying on her with hidden cameras.
On one occasion, she claims he offered to give her a drink with “THC drops,” which she accepted, according to court documents. She describes watching him use a dropper to put a reddish liquid in her drink. She drank half and doesn’t recall anything until 3 p.m. the next day. When she woke up, Jonsonn was there, offering her NyQuil. She accepted, and again, doesn’t remember anything until the next day. This time when she awoke, she refused his offers of NyQuil and went to the hospital, where she was given fluids. She reported feeling better right away.
“During the first two days at the residence, (the woman) stated that she doesn’t remember a lot,” wrote Deschutes County sheriff’s Det. Doug Jackson in a court document.
Days after moving into Jonsson’s house, she met a woman who worked as a server at the Hideaway Bend tavern. The server told the woman the man known as “EJ” is rumored to have drugged a woman there, according to court documents.
Deputies interviewed staff at the Hideaway. One male bartender said Jonsson is a “weird guy” who makes customers and staff uncomfortable.
“EJ tells people that he is rich,” the bartender told police. “He brags about selling his company in California for millions of dollars. He’s always bragging about bringing in girls from California.”
The manager told police Jonsson regularly offers to “pay girls to come to his house to hang out,” according to court documents. One time, a woman he brought to the bar became unable to stand and he carried her out of the bar, the manager told police.
Hideaway Tavern owner John Nolan declined to comment for this story.
“It’s probably best not to say anything,” he said.
After a few weeks at the residence, the woman who responded to the Craigslist ad decided she needed to return to her home state to retrieve several items from storage. She told investigators Jonsson insisted on accompanying her. On their way out of Bend, they stopped at a gas station, where the woman bought a slushy. She left it in the car with Jonsson while she left to go to the restroom.
About 30 minutes after drinking the slushy, the woman told police she became “extremely ill,” according to court documents. She was so sick, they stopped at a hotel before arriving at the woman’s hometown.
“Initially, Eric attempted to convince her to rent a room with only one bed, but she would not,” wrote Det. Jackson.
The woman told police she doesn’t remember much from her two-day stay at the hotel with Jonsson, except him continually providing her with NyQuil each time she would wake up. She wore the same clothing throughout the stay, but on he morning of the second day, while in the bathroom, she discovered her underwear was on inside-out.
At the end of November, Jonsson brought a woman to the house. She appeared intoxicated and was not making sense while attempting to talk, according to court documents. Jonsson took this woman directly to his room rather than the spare room. The following day, she was still in his bed at 1 p.m.
The second woman had flown in to spend several days with Jonsson. The two had been Facebook friends for a few years and regularly messaged each other, according to court documents. She said she knew Jonsson was interested in a relationship, and when he offered to pay to fly her to Bend to “check things out,” she accepted.
She arrived in Bend on Nov. 30. It was her first time meeting Jonsson in person.
“She told police shortly after arriving in the Bend area, Eric started to creep her out,” Jackson wrote in a court filing. “She said things continued to get weirder the longer she was here with Eric.”
The second woman had originally planned to spend six days in Bend, but she said Jonsson pushed her departure date back four days without her knowledge. She had no vehicle and was staying at his house in the woods.
One night, she awoke to the feeling of “poking and prodding in her sexually intimate parts,” according to court documents. She remembers telling the person to stop. But she wasn’t sure if the episode was a dream — she’d been “wobbly” and having trouble keeping her head up after accepting a drink from Jonsson.
When the second woman tried to leave, Jonsson resisted and became angry. She was “rescued” by the first woman and that woman’s boyfriend, who drove her to a motel, where she was picked up by family.
While investigating the current case, Det. Jackson ran across a similar crime from 2004. Jonsson was convicted of raping and choking a 24-year-old woman he met that night at the Round Butte Inn.
As he was driving that woman home in his Pontiac Grand Am, he drove off-track, to an isolated area and attacked and choked the woman in the passenger seat, ripping off her clothes with his bare hands.
At the time, Jonsson was married with two kids. His victim reported that he’d told her he was widower caring for his dead wife’s kids.
— Reporter: 541-383-0325, firstname.lastname@example.org