3 charged in ‘violent attacks’ on women in Oregon, Nebraska


Investigators believe men involved in sex trafficking in at least 4 states

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Three young men face numerous charges in Oregon and other states for robberies and violent assaults on women in late 2020, federal and local law enforcement agencies said Monday.

Yuan Gao, Xinyu Zhou and Arian Esfandiari were arrested for other similar events in Omaha, Nebraska on December 10, 2020 officials said. Just a week later, Gao and Zhou were indicted in Portland on serious charges.

Gao, 19, Zhou, 21 and 18-year-old Esfandiari are suspected of more similar crimes in at least 3 other states, officials said Monday.

Court documents obtained by KOIN 6 News indicate the crimes in the Multnomah County indictment happened on November 5. The US Marshals spotted the men November 11. A Beaverton robbery took place November 25. The Nebraska indictment is for crimes on December 14, and the were arrested the next day in Omaha.

How the case escalated

November 11 when US Marshals were looking for a fugitive in the 9700 block of NE Sandy Boulevard.

Two men, not connected to the fugitive, were seen leaving a hotel room when one of the marshals spotted a woman bound to a chair inside the room. She’d been severely assaulted. They made a plan to rescue her and police soon found another bound-and-beaten woman a short distance away.

The women were both Chinese foreign-born nationals brought to the US under fraudulent visas, investigators said. It was also learned the two men had operations in Portland and othe cities in Oregon and around the country.

Two weeks later, Beaverton police were called to a robbery at a hotel on SW 158th and found another woman beaten and robbed by 3 men. Authorities said she was attacked with a hammer and was seriously injured. This was the 3rd attack of a similar nature at that same hotel during 2020, officials said.

Beaverton and Portland police worked with the FBI to identify the 3 suspects.

Gao and Zhou face a total of 20 charges in Portland for compelling prostitution, robbery in the 1st- and 2nd-degrees, assault in the 1st- and 2nd-degrees and unlawful use of a weapon

Once their cases are resolved in Nebraska they are expected to be extradited to Washington County.

The case continues. Investigators believe there may be more victims. Anyone with information is asked to call Beaverton Police Detective Chad Opitz at 503.526.2674.

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