Registered sex offender abused girl after befriending family, police say

A registered sex offender sexually abused a young girl after befriending her family two years ago, police said.

George Hamel was arrested Thursday for sex abuse in the first degree after police said he had sexual contact with the girl, who was under the age of 14. The crime occurred in Fairview in December 2009, according to police, but they would not elaborate further on details.

Fairview police said Hamel ‘frequented the zoo’ as an amateur photographer and took photos of children, then collected their addresses by offering to mail them the photos. Police say Hamel visited the Oregon Zoo with the girl and her family within the past two years. Hamel gets around in a wheel chair because he only has one leg.

Police said Hamel is a sexual predator and should never be around kids. They were concerned that he may have used the addresses he collected at the zoo to go to childrens’ homes.

KGW learned that Hamel already spent 20 years behind bars for sexually abusing two 11-year-old girls in Portland and is a registered sex offender in Oregon.

He had also previously been banned from the Oregon Zoo for snapping photos of young employees and making them uncomfortable, police said.

Zoo officials told KGW Hamel was known to them and was excluded from the Oregon Zoo in March 2007. Bill LaMarche, Media Relations Officer for the Oregon Zoo, also said Hamel’s photo had been distributed, and his name circulated as not eligible for zoo membership. “To our knowledge, he hasn’t been back” since being excluded, according to LaMarche.

Anyone with information about other possible crimes involving Hamel and children was encouraged to contact detective Brad Robertson with the Fairview Police Department, at 503-674-6259.



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