On March 13, the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office responded to the Vernonia area for a reported sex crime involving a juvenile female and a male adult.
When deputies arrived in the area, they contacted the victim and the victim’s family and were able to identify the suspect as Mekhi Alexander Williams, 20, from Vernonia.
According to a release from the Columbia County Sheriff's Office, the investigation was complicated by the fact that Mekhi had enlisted in the military and was stationed in Washington.
Columbia County Sheriff's Office (CCSO) investigators coordinated with military officials and arranged for an interview with the suspect at the Joint Base Lewis McCord (JBLM).
The CCSO investigators traveled to JBLM and with the assistance of JBLM authorities, interviewed PFC Mekhi Williams. After investigators concluded the interview, JBLM authorities placed Williams on restricted leave duty and he was confined to base.
CCSO investigators returned to Columbia County and secured an arrest warrant for Williams for five counts of Rape III, three counts of Sodomy III and two counts of Sex Abuse II.
Once the base investigators had learned of the arrest warrant, they transported Williams to the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office where CCSO Investigators booked Williams into the Columbia County Jail on the above charges with $200,000 bail.
CCSO Investigators believe there may be more victims in and around Columbia County. Authorities are asking anyone with additional information to call Detective Peabody at 503-397-1521.