Photographer indicted on child porn charges — A photographer arrested in 2018 after authorities said he raped underage models was charged with coercing six minor victims in Oregon to engage in child pornography. U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams announced that Robert Arnold Koester, 52, was being charged with six counts of production of child pornography. At the time of his arrest, Koester worked as a professional photographer, engaged in the photography of models, primarily on the West Coast. Koester owns a 28-acre farm in rural Yamhill County near Carlton, where police believe he drugged, raped and assaulted multiple women and teens. Koester faces dozens of additional state and federal charges for related criminal conduct in Yamhill County and in California. Efforts to reach an attorney for Koester weren’t successful.
Man convicted of hate crimes — A Portland man has been found guilty of two hate crimes after calling two African American boys a racist slur and threatening them with a knife. Michael Amatullo, 61, who is white, was found guilty by a jury of two counts of felony unlawful use of a weapon and two counts of menacing. A judge found him guilty of two counts of intimidation. Court documents say Amatullo’s 8-year-old neighbor was taking out the trash when Amatullo used a racist slur. Documents say he also yelled the slur at the boy’s 14-year-old brother. The child testified that Amatullo then came out holding a kitchen knife and said, “Come here, and I’ll kill you.” A police affidavit says police took Amatullo into custody, where he launched into a stream of derogatory language. Amatullo’s lawyer Joseph Westover argued that his client had felt threatened.
Student apologizes for theft of equality sign — A Milwaukie High School student filmed taking an equality sign out of a Southeast Portland yard and then ripping a Pride flag from the home’s front porch apologized and will face “restorative justice” through the school. “I’m extremely sorry for the damages done to their home,” the student caught on a security camera wrote in an email sent through his mother to The Oregonian. “The incident was done out of pure ignorance and looking on it now, is the worst decision I have made in my entire life. I didn’t do it out of hate; I made a choice that was irrational and dumb. I don’t represent anyone but myself. I have let down my school, my family, and my teammates. This is not who I am and it is not how I should act.” Samantha Hughes, who lives in that home, said both the teen seen in the video and the driver of the car came to her house Wednesday with their parents and apologized. “They seemed quite remorseful,” Hughes said.