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Lebanon man suspected of kidnapping woman from her work's parking lot

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A Lebanon man has been arrested in connection to an alleged kidnapping incident said to have taken place in May of this year.

The Linn County Sheriff’s Office arrested Juan Gerardo Sanchez Jr., 35, on Tuesday, Nov. 30. Sanchez was arraigned in Linn County Circuit Court Wednesday on two counts of first-degree kidnapping, strangulation, unlawful use of weapon, menacing and coercion.

According to a probable cause affidavit for the case, at 7:52 p.m., May 12, a Lebanon Police Department officer responded to a kidnapping at a parking lot for a hair salon in Lebanon.

Kathy Ballweber's Victorian Village is one of the many Christmas Storybook Land displays. The event runs from Dec. 3 to Dec. 17 at the Linn County Expo Center.

The victim called and reported the kidnapping. She alleged the suspect pulled a knife on her and took her on a drive out of town. She told police Sanchez eventually let her go.

The affidavit states the victim told the officer she had broken up with Sanchez recently and blocked his phone number. According to the victim, she had cut off contact with Sanchez three days prior.

After leaving her job at around 6 p.m., the victim said she came out to the parking lot and saw Sanchez. She alleged Sanchez was holding a knife and said he was going to kill her and that if he couldn’t have her than no one could.

The victim told the officer that Sanchez had been physically abusive in the past, according to the affidavit. She said she hadn’t reported this before because she wasn’t sure if police would believe her.

Sanchez then got into the victim’s car and allegedly told her to get in too. When the victim refused, Sanchez reportedly said he was going to kill her if she didn’t get into the vehicle, according to the affidavit.

Sanchez drove them to a cemetery in Sweet Home where they remained for around 20 minutes, according to the affidavit. The victim said Sanchez agreed to take her home if she promised not to call police. She alleged to police that Sanchez choked her at one point while driving.

When looking at the victim’s neck, the Lebanon police officer saw a petechiae — small, round spots on skin that may be caused by bleeding — on the right side of her neck, according to the affidavit. The officer said when speaking with the victim, she kept looking up and down the street. At the time, the officer was unable to locate Sanchez.

According to Oregon’s online court system, former Linn County Circuit Court Judge David Delsman approved the issuance of an arrest warrant on May 25.

During Wednesday’s arraignment, Thomas Boone was appointed Sanchez’s defense attorney. Linn County Circuit Court Judge Michael Wynhausen set Sanchez’s bail at $500,000. The next court appearance in the matter is set for Dec. 13.

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