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Sex offender gets life without parole

A sex offender who attempted to molest a child in the toy section of Fred Meyer in 2012 has been given a life sentence for the same type of offense at a Hillsboro library.

Douglas Sokell, 71, of Forest Grove has been sent to prison under Oregon’s three-strikes law without any possibility of parole by a Washington County Judge. He had previous sex abuse convictions in 2012 in Lincoln County and 1996 in Washington County.

In June of 2012, Sokell was apprehended by citizens in a Newport Library after being witnessed attempting to fondle a 7-year-old girl that he had asked to help him find a book for another child. That legal case is also still pending. According to reports, Sokell was mandated to register as a sex offender in Ohio after being convicted of similar criminal activity.

The Dalles Police Det. Sgt. Dan Nelson identified Sokell from surveillance tapes after a complaint was filed of molestation on May 6, 2012.

A spokesperson for Fred Meyer said local law enforcement officials were provided with anything they needed in the investigation. Employees were briefed about the physical description of the suspect and were on the lookout until Sokell’s arrest.

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