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Defendant given probation for July Fourth kidnapping incident

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A Salem man has been sentenced after pleading guilty to kidnapping, sex abuse and assault charges stemming from a July 3 domestic incident in Woodburn.

Juan Manuel Navarro-Gil, 30, formerly of Woodburn, was arrested on July Fourth for first-degree rape and second-degree kidnapping — both of which are subject to mandatory minimum sentences of at least five years in prison under Oregon’s Measure 11.

MCSO - Juan Navarro-Gil.However, state law permits judges to depart from mandatory minimum sentences for certain crimes, including second-degree kidnapping, and that was the case here, after a letter was submitted to the court from the victim, Berenice Navarro-Gil, stating the defendant did assault her but did not actually rape her.

“The night of Juan’s arrest, I?reported that he raped me,” said the letter, which was hand-written and labeled to be read in court. “I?exaggerated by saying that because I?felt raped due to a mark that he left on my neck.”

The letter states the couple did have sex that night but that it was consensual.

“I?honestly believe that Juan didn’t intend to cause me any harm,” she said in the letter, dated Aug. 3. “I?called the police on him because he restrained me by taping my legs, arms and mouth with duct tape, and I couldn’t let him get away with that. I?couldn’t allow this to happen again, ever.”

Berenice Navarro-Gil wrote that this incident had been the first time Juan Navarro-Gil had hurt her, but she couldn’t take a chance that it would happen again in the future.

“I understand that jealousy followed by anger caused him to act in such a way, and due to his actions, I would want him to get counseling,” she said. “Juan doesn’t deserve to be in jail. He’s not a criminal. He just decided to take out his jealousy in an inappropriate way.”

Overall, Juan Navarro-Gil is a great person, she said.

“He’s a hard worker and always pulled through for us, his family,” she said. “He was a great example for our boys, family and friends. His boys miss him very much!”

In lieu of prison time, Juan Navarro-Gil was sentenced on Dec. 14 by Judge Cheryl Pellegrini to 36 months of supervised probation, with a number of special conditions, including that he register as a sex offender, complete a batterer intervention program and sex offender treatment program, and refrain from using alcohol or other intoxicants or frequenting businesses where they are sold.

He will also be prohibited from residing within three miles of the victim, or having any contact with her unless explicitly permitted by the court or probation officer.

He will also be required to make “a full and complete disclosure of all prior victims” during a polygraph examination, and will be prohibited from having intimate relations with any person without prior written approval from his PO.

He was also sentenced to 59 days in jail for the charge of fourth-degree assault, but he was credited with having already served this time while his case was being processed. He was also assessed $3,100 in fines and attorney fees.

Tyler Francke covers all things Woodburn. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 503-765-1195.