Police: Man wearing women's undergarments tried raping 18-year-old

Thomas Johnson mug shot courtesy Multnomah County Jail 

PORTLAND, Ore. (KATU) – A Portland man is accused of trying to rape an 18-year-old woman while he was wearing a red thong and a woman’s Speedo top, Portland police said.

The suspect, 50-year-old Thomas Johnsen, was arraigned Tuesday on charges of burglary, attempted rape, coercion, strangulation, and sexual abuse.

According to a probable cause affidavit, on August 31, a young woman woke up in bed and found a strange man on top of her.

When the girl tried to scream, the suspect tried to strangle her, the document says.

“He also put his fingers in his mouth and down her throat,” the affidavit says.

The girl told police the suspect told her, “I swear to god stop yelling. You have to do what I say if you want to live through this; if you don’t want to die.”

The girl’s boyfriend walked into the room, saw what was happening, and began fighting the man, the document says.

The suspect ran away, but left a duffle bag.

Officers responded to the residence in the 2900 block of Northeast 46th Avenue.

They later found Johnsen and took him into custody. Investigators showed him photos of the woman and her boyfriend and the duffle bag. Johnsen said he recognized all three photos, the affidavit says.

Neighbors, like Eric Wiscovich, say he moved into the neighborhood because of its reputation of being safe and quiet.

"I have an 8-year-old son myself, and when I think about protecting him, family first," he said. "Safety is a primary concern of ours; it's one of the reasons we moved to the northeast."

"I can't believe it, anything like this happening in this neighborhood," said Debbie Parham, a neighbor who's lived in the neighborhood for more than 30 years. "I still feel safe, but I'm going to be looking for not just my immediate neighbors around me, but people down the street."

Johnsen’s hearing will take place on October 25.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off