It is a tragic thing to consider that someone would rather take their own life than face the consequences of their actions, especially when those actions involve preying on innocent children.
This was the case for Tina Ketcham, a 40-year-old Oregon woman accused of raping an underage boy hundreds of times over a five year period.
Despite not having any criminal history and pleading not guilty, her bail hearing resulted in a $350,000 bond—an amount beyond her means.
Just two weeks after her arrest, she was found dead in her jail cell due to suicide.
Metro reported that Ketcham was arrested and arraigned on six counts of first-degree rape, two counts of first-degree sex abuse, one count of first-degree sodomy, and six other sex offenses after victimizing an underage boy who prosecutors said she knew.
These are “measure 11” crimes in Oregon which carry mandatory minimum sentences of several years in prison; if convicted on these charges alone it could have amounted to decades behind bars for Ketcham.
Even more shockingly is that prosecutor Keith Stein stated that this only represented “a fraction” of the alleged abuse as there were potentially hundreds more charges which could have been brought against her.
In spite of all the evidence against her, Tina Ketcham denied guilt throughout the entire process however, everything changed at her bail hearing when the judge refused to lower it from $350k to $50k despite requests by defense attorney Stephen Doyle claiming his client had no criminal history and was part owner in a local business making her a low flight risk.
It seems as though this unforeseen event pushed Ketcham over the edge as Linn County Sheriff Jim Yon told KATU that during hourly security checks they found Tina hanging unresponsive in her cell before paramedics arrived later pronouncing her deceased at 5:18 am—just over two weeks after being arrested.
As for why she wasn’t put on suicide watch?
Sheriff Yon claims she did not show any signs distress while held at jail however, lawyer Doyle disagrees saying ” his client ‘absolutely’ should have been on suicide watch”.
The untimely death caused by self infliction begs us all to question whether prisons really serve its purpose or not?