You can’t make this stuff up. The first person to ever receive a lifetime ban from all TriMet services, which provides public transportation in the Portland, Oregon metro area, was sentenced Tuesday to nearly a year in jail, after being accused of dozens of instances throughout the past decade of inappropriately touching women and cutting their hair on public transit.
Jared Walter, 32, was sentenced in Multnomah County Circuit Court to 364 days in jail, five years of probation, and required mental health and sex offender treatment. Walter, who is already a registered sex offender, was convicted on two counts of interfering with public transportation and two counts of harassment.
Nicknamed “the TriMet barber” for his repeated cutting of women’s hair, Walter has also been convicted several times since 2009 of masturbating into or gluing women’s hair while on public transit.
Walter took a plea deal, which both victims in the case agreed to, and Judge Thomas Ryan dismissed charges of third-degree sexual abuse.
He was charged with “quickly and lightly” touching the side of one victim’s chest, and the upper thigh of a second victim. In interviews with police, one of the victims said Walter first sat close to her, and though she inched away, she soon felt a man touching her upper thigh through her coat pocket. The other woman said she didn’t initially realize Walter was touching her intentionally but became concerned after seeing posts about his arrest on social media.
Though Walter had been convicted in prior incidents on public transit and had been banned from services before, TriMet issued a lifetime ban in April, after an incident in March.
Walter’s behavior also led TriMet to change its policy, giving itself the authority to ban riders for more than six months if they commit a “serious physical offense.” Prior to changing the rule in 2017, the agency’s policy did not allow for banning riders for longer than that.