A man convicted of sex crimes in Hood River County in 2006 and 2011 has moved to The Dalles and is classified as a Level 3 offender, meaning he’s at “high risk” to reoffend.
Eric Alexander VanDyke, 26, lives at 712 W. 10th St., according to the Oregon Sex Offender Inquiry System.
He is one of just five Level 3 offenders listed as living in The Dalles. Level 3 is the most serious level, and was previously described as the predatory sex offender level.
He was convicted in 2006, when he would have been around 15, of first-degree sex abuse (a felony), and first-degree sexual penetration (felony).
In 2011, when he was 20, he was convicted of third-degree sex abuse (a misdemeanor) and first-degree online sexual corruption of a child.
On Sunday, Feb. 4, three area law enforcement officers fanned out and notified neighbors that VanDyke had moved in to the neighborhood.
Oregon State Police Lt. Les Kipper, who oversaw the notification, said officers notified people living on Ninth, 10th and 11th streets between Trevitt and Mt. Hood streets.
He knocked on doors and if someone answered, he handed them a flyer with VanDyke’s photo, physical description, address, and list of convictions. If no one answered, the officers simply left a flyer at the door.
VanDkye is 6 feet 3 inches tall, weighs 225 pounds and drives a 1996 blue Subaru Legacy.
Kipper said of the handful of neighbors he talked to, “a few thanked me for the information and there really wasn’t much else to it.” He said none of the people had specific questions, other than where VanDyke lived.
Kipper said he believed city officers notified schools and area businesses, including at Ninth and Trevitt.
OSP Sgt. Jeff Proulx said Oregon has 30,000 sex offenders. The state decided in 2013 to switch the classification system for sex offenders, and the process is still underway.
At this point in the process, just two percent of the 30,000 are at the Level 3 category.
Kipper said it was his understanding VanDyke was living with his wife and family in the house. A woman’s account on Facebook shows she is married to VanDyke and they had a child in 2016.
They were married in 2016, according to the Hood River News.
That woman posted a Bible passage about not judging others, and also said she felt violated and disrespected when she “can’t even have pictures of MY husband and son on my own Facebook.”
She criticized “snoopy, nosy, good for nothing people” who were being “a so called ‘concerned citizen’” and were “trying to take away a relationship between a father and his son.”
She told them to “mind your own business.”
One woman in The Dalles who got the flyer Sunday about VanDyke posted it on a community page on Facebook, stirring extensive commentary.
Kipper said the area of notification is based on “where they live, what is in that area, are they close to schools, churches, businesses. Depending on what the offender’s offenses are, where a certain demographic of people, such as children, may gather.”
VanDyke lives four blocks from St. Mary’s Academy and five blocks from Colonel Wright Elementary. Both schools were notified. A number of home daycares are also within four to five blocks of him.
While Facebook commenters were shocked a sex offender could live close to a school and area day cares, there are no laws preventing them from living near schools, Kipper said.
He said VanDyke completed his probation for his latest conviction in December 2017. He moved to The Dalles in January.
In 2011, he was sentenced to five years in prison for a variety of charges and was eligible for early release.
He was sentenced to 30 months in prison for fourth-degree assault, domestic. It was concurrent with a 45-month sentence for first-degree online sexual corruption of a child. On another count of first-degree online sexual corruption of a child, he was also sentenced to 45 months, with 15 months of it consecutive to the other sex corruption charge.
He was also sentenced to six months, to run concurrently with other charges, for third-degree sex abuse.
Seven other charges in that case were dropped, including sodomy, fourth-degree assault, two counts of first degree sexual abuse, one of third degree sex abuse, contempt of court, and failure to report as a sex offender.
Nine of the 11 charges were described as having the same or similar character: forcible deviate sexual behavior.
One of the victims was an adult and two were under age 14.
On a separate 2011 misdemeanor charge of third-degree sex abuse, he was given a six-month suspended sentence, to run concurrently with the other charges.
According to the state sex offender inquiry system, VanDyke may not knowingly be on premises where children regularly congregate, such as schools, child care centers and playgrounds.
In 2014, the Hood River News published an article stating the Hood River County Sheriff’s Office parole and Probation Division was alerting the community about VanDyke, who was labeled a “high risk” offender.
The article stated he was on post-prison supervision for two counts of online sexual corruption of a child in the first degree and sexual abuse in the third degree. It stated he’d been sentenced to prison in March 2011 and had recently been released from prison.
His conditions of supervision as described in the 2014 article prohibited him from working or volunteering at a school or day care center.
The article said VanDyke “has targeted adolescent females, pre-pubescent females and has a handicapped teenage female victim and adult female victim.”
The article said that in the past, “VanDyke accessed victims through church and school sporting events.”
A state brochure titled “Oregon Sex Offender Notification Levels” states that once an offender is classified into a level, “a notifying or supervising agency can release information about that offender.”
The level of notification increases with the level of offender.
For Level One offenders, notification is to the person who lives with the offender. For Level 2, it expands to people who live with them, have a significant relationship with them, and also to neighbors and churches, parks, schools and child care centers, convenience stores, businesses and other places that children or other potential victims may frequent.
For Level 3, it expands beyond that and can include notifying local media and placing the offender’s information on the Department of State Police Sex Offender Registry website.
Kipper said the state police is tasked with maintaining compliance with sex offender registries. In Wasco County, sex offenders must register at the state police office in The Dalles.
About two or three times a year, troopers will fan out over the area and seek out people who are not in compliance with registry requirements, which is that they must notify officials when they move, and they must register again each year on their birthday.
When troopers find someone who has not registered, they arrest them. If they learn that someone has moved from their listed address, they ask the district attorney to seek an arrest warrant for them.
Kipper said each time a sex offender compliance sweep occurs, usually two or three people are arrested for not registering, and two or three cases are referred for an arrest warrant.