The Frank Milligan Case


This story is based on an 8/10/2000 article and an 8/12/2000 article in The Oregonian.

On July 2, 1999 Frank James Milligan was arrested for the August 1997 molestation of an 11-year-old boy to whom he had become a "father figure". Judge Philip Nelson set a bail of $250,000. Milligan's mother paid the required 10% of the bail and Milligan was released.

In March of 2000, prosecutors tried to have Milligan's bail revoked for associating with children, but Judge Nelson declined to return him to jail.

On July 14, 2000, Milligan pled guilty to one count of sex abuse - a Measure 11 crime, and to two counts of attempted sodomy, not a Measure 11 crime.

On July 11, 2000, a 10-year-old Dallas, OR boy was abducted. The abductor attempted to fondle him. When he resisted, the abductor slashed his throat, dumped him, and left him for dead. Miraculously, the boy survived.

On August 9, 2000, after 20,000 hours of police work, Frank James Milligan was arrested. On August 11, 2000, he was charged with kidnapping, sex abuse, and attempted aggravated murder, all Measure 11 crimes, for the attack on the 10-year-old Dallas boy.

How does this case reflect on Measure 11 and Measure 94?

First, Milligan received a 6 year, 3 month Measure 11 sentence for the sex abuse conviction stemming from the 1997 incident. Under Measure 94, Milligan would be resentenced. He would be considered a "first-time offender", even if the first molestation went on for months or years. As a "first-time offender", the Measure 94 presumptive sentence for this 1997 molestation would be 16 to 18 months (13 to 15 months after "good time").

Because Milligan committed his 2000 attempted murder three days before he pled guilty to the 1997 molestation, he might also be considered a "first-time offender", as far as Measure 94 is concerned, for the attempted murder. Even if Milligan the prior conviction were counted against Milligan, the presumptive sentence for the attempted murder would be only 4 years and seven months (3 years, eight months after "good time").

Under Measure 94, a judge could find aggravating circumstances and double the presumptive sentences. Even after doubling, Milligan's sentences would be considerably less than the Measure 11 sentences now in effect.

Frank James Milligan's original crime was Sex Abuse I. As of August, 2000, there were 643 people sentenced for Sex Abuse under Measure 11. If Measure 94 passes, all of them will be resentenced under Measure 94's much more lenient guidelines. Many of them will be released within 90 days of the election.

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