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Attorney For Child Molester Calls Warning Signs Unfair

February 9, 1988

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) _ The attorney for a man ordered to post signs identifying himself as a child molester said Monday that the signs are unfair.

However, attorney Richard E. Fowlks declined to say whether he would seek to modify the order concerning his client, Richard J. Bateman, who was arrested Saturday after a three-week search.

Bateman appeared briefly before Multnomah County District Judge Dorothy M. Baker, who postponed a formal hearing on probation violation charges until Wednesday.

Bateman, 47, was arrested at a suburban construction site after police received an anonymous tip. He is being held without bail at the Multnomah County Justice Center.

Ms. Baker ordered Bateman last year to post signs on his house and car that read: ″Dangerous Sex Offender. No Children Allowed.″

The judge issued an arrest warrant for Bateman last month after ruling he had violated his probation by trying to camouflage a sign on his house.

Investigators said Bateman, a dry-wall installer, was working under an assumed name at a Beaverton construction site and had changed his appearance by growing a goatee, mustache and longer hair.

His probation officer, Tom Grinnell, said after the hearing that Bateman disappeared because ″he was fearful of posting a sign.″

Asked whether Bateman was afraid of public reaction or media attention, Grinnell said, ″He said that he was afraid; that’s all he told me.″

Bateman also is accused of violating his probation by failing to undergo alcohol and psychological treatment and failing to report to his probation officer and report a change of address.

If Bateman’s probation is revoked, he would face a maximum of five years in prison on each of two sexual abuse counts, minus the year he already has served in prison. Bateman pleaded no contest last spring to two counts of sexual abuse involving a 5-year-old girl and a boy the same age.

In 1979, Bateman was sentenced to the Oregon State Penitentiary for kidnapping and sodomizing a young girl.

The judge said she ordered Bateman to post the warning signs because prison had not deterred him from the second abuse incident and he refused to admit his problem or undergo therapy.

Bateman originally was required to post signs on his door in a house where he rented a room and on the doors of any vehicle he drove. After learning the house was near an elementary school, Ms. Baker last month ordered Bateman to post a sign on the front door of the house.

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