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Facility owner pleads guilty to sexual abuse

October 17, 2016
by Nicole Stempak, Senior Editor
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A retirement community owner groped and fondled current and former employees and residents.

Herbert “Howard” Sahnow, 73, pleaded guilty to 11 counts of third-degree sex abuse and one count of attempted third-degree sexual abuse. He was sentenced to two days in jail and five years of probation.

Sahnow targeted the most vulnerable women, including the elderly and financially insecure at The Elms Retirement Community in Forest Grove, Oregon, lawyers said in court Thursday. Sahnow was also accused of unlawfully entering residents’ apartments, according to Forest Grove police.

Washington County senior deputy district attorney Megan Johnson told The Oregonian/OregonLive the county sought a plea deal as nearly all women wished to avoid a trial. As part of his probation, Sahnow cannot set foot at the facility, have contact with women who are developmentally delayed or above the age of 65 and cannot contact the victims. The judge also ordered Sahnow to register as a sex offender, undergo a mental health evaluation and pay restitution to the victims.