Police: Thong-wearing man tries to rape sleeping teen

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Police said a witness told them a 50-year-old man was wearing a red thong and a woman’s Speedo top when he attempted to rape an 18-year-old while she slept in Northeast Portland.

On Tuesday, a Multnomah County grand jury handed up a 6-count indictment against Thomas William Johnsen — charging him with one count each of burglary, attempted rape, sexual abuse, strangulation and two counts of coercion.

In late August, police responded to the 2900 block of Northeast 49th Avenue and spoke with an 18-year-old woman. She told officers she had been sleeping at her boyfriend’s parent’s house when she woke up to a man on top of her with his hands around her throat, according to court documents.

The man, later identified as Johnsen, was a stranger to the young woman and reportedly “shooshed her.”

“She tried to scream, but the man squeezed her neck so she could not,” according to court documents filed by Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney Todd Jackson. “She said [Johnsen] spit on her face several times, held her mouth open with his fingers, and turned off the desk.”

Johnsen also had the young woman unplug a small nightlight to make the bedroom “completely dark.”

Johnsen reportedly said his name was “Edward,” and that “he had never been with a teenager,” according to court documents.

He reportedly said, “I swear to God, stop yelling. You have to do what I say if you want to live through this, if you don’t want to die.”

As this was all happening, the young woman saw her boyfriend come through the door. He had reportedly left before the intrusion to go drop off some friends. When the boyfriend walked into the bedroom he noticed that the lights were off, which he found odd, and thought he saw his girlfriend sleeping, “but the silhouette looked too big,” according to court documents.

The young woman told police she yelled out, “help.”

KOIN 6 News is not identifying the woman or her boyfriend because she is an alleged victim of a sex crime.

The boyfriend then realized Johnsen was on top of his girlfriend, so he pushed Johnsen up onto the headboard, started punching him, and then dragged him off the bed.

Johnsen fled the residence through a basement door, according to court documents.

The boyfriend’s parents started searching their Rose City Park neighborhood, particularly their yard after Johnsen reportedly fled, court documents state.

The parents located a bag in the yard and it reportedly contained women’s underwear and pornographic magazines.

Officers who responded to the incident realized that the description given by the young woman and her boyfriend matched the suspect description of a man who had been detained earlier in connection with a criminal mischief case.

Detectives were able to identify Johnsen as the suspect in the attack after showing the victim several photos.

Johnsen told police he didn’t recognize the house where the alleged attack happened, but said he ran through several yards after being chased. He also told police he recognized the young woman and her boyfriend, but couldn’t tell police from where. It’s alleged in court documents Johnsen told police that porn magazines, “cross-dressing clothes” and maybe food would be found in the bag that was found at the family’s residence.

Johnsen is being held in custody at the Multnomah County Inverness Jail.

Editor’s Note: Over the years, Johnsen has used several different spellings for his last name, including “Johnson.” The indictment shows the spelling of his name as “Johnsen.” 

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