First-ever lifetime ban issued by TriMet goes into effect immediately
TriMet has issued a lifetime exclusion – the agency’s first – to Jared Walter. Police say Walter once again targeted women on the TriMet system, sexually assaulting two women in separate cases in March 2019. While Walter remains in jail, the exclusion is immediate so that when he is released, he is already barred from riding TriMet.
“The decision to issue this individual a lifetime exclusion from the TriMet system was not one made lightly. As a public transit provider, people rely on our buses and trains to get to jobs and services. But we cannot allow Mr. Walter to continue to ride based on his recent actions and behavior that threatens the safety and well-being of our riders and employees.”Doug Kelsey, TriMet general manager
New allegations + history of sexual assaults
TriMet enacted an ordinance in September 2017, which allows the general manager to issue a long-term exclusion under specific circumstances. TriMet Code 28.18 allows for a long-term exclusion against someone who commits “a serious physical offense” against another person on the TriMet system or “poses a serious threat to TriMet employees and passengers” such as if “he or she has committed a sexual assault.”
After meeting with the District Attorney’s office and reviewing evidence, TriMet’s General Manager has determined that Walter purposefully touched two women without their permission. While these new incidents led TriMet to ban Walter for life, his past helped inform that decision.
Walter has been in and out of jail for the last decade; most of his known crimes involving women victimized on the TriMet system. While TriMet worked with authorities to make a ban on riding transit part of Walter’s parole or probation, we had no control over the ultimate length of his sentences. With new criminal charges pending just four months after his latest release from jail in November 2018, TriMet has invoked the strongest penalty that we as a transit agency can – a lifetime exclusion.
The long-term exclusion ordinance sets an exclusion of up to a year for a first-time offense and a year or more for a second offense; however, it allows the general manager discretion based on the individual facts of a case. “I conclude that anything less than a lifetime exclusion would subject TriMet customers and employees to an immediate and serious threat to their safety.”Doug Kelsey, TriMet general manager
When Walter is once again released into the public, if he is spotted on the TriMet system, he would be arrested and charged with the crime of Interfering with Public Transportation (ORS 166.116) or Criminal Trespass in the Second Degree (ORS 164.245).
Annual right to appeal lifetime ban
If Walter is able to receive treatment and prove he has been rehabilitated, he could seek to modify or even end the exclusion. As stated in the ordinance, he will have the right to a hearing to appeal the ongoing exclusion once every 12 months. Victims of the crime that prompted the exclusion would be allowed to make a statement to the Hearings Officer.
Stand up against sexual harassment on transit
Public transit belongs to all riders and TriMet wants you to join us in standing up against sexual harassment and assault. No one has the right to make you feel uncomfortable, no matter your gender, race or religion. If someone touches you inappropriately, say something. Alert the operator, tell a TriMet employee or security officer, or call 9-1-1. If you cannot make a voice call, text 9-1-1.