In March, Washington County Sheriff’s Office detectives opened an investigation into 58-year-old Henry Stephen “Steve” Bauer after receiving a report from a woman that Bauer sexually abused her when she was a child.
On May 27, a grand jury indicted Bauer on four counts of Sexual Abuse in the First Degree.
On June 2, detectives with the sheriff’s office Violent Crimes Unit (VCU) arrested Bauer at his home. He was lodged at the Washington County Jail.
During their investigation, detectives learned that Bauer has a lengthy history of volunteering with various organizations where he had access to children. Bauer’s concerning behavior with children dates back to the late 1970s. He was removed as a Boy Scout leader in 1993 amid allegations of abuse to a young boy. Bauer also has ties to the Rockaway Beach community, as well.
Detectives strongly believe that Bauer has other victims that have not made reports to law enforcement. Bauer has known connections to the following organizations:
• Boy Scouts of America Troops 1 and 150 (1970s-1993)
• Alpenrose Dairyville
• Neah-Kah-Nie High School (2009-2012)
• Portland Revels (2013-2021)
• Rockaway Beach Police Department (volunteer until 2017)
• Tillamook Association for the Performing Arts (TAPA)
Neah-Kah-Nie School District Superintendent Paul Erlebach stated in a letter to the community Monday, June 7, all volunteers in the school district must pass a criminal history check with Oregon Department of Education. Bauer passed the background check when he began volunteering in 2009.
“We are cooperating with investigators and encourage anyone with information to contact law enforcement,” Erlebach stated. “The school district’s sexual conduct policy prohibits this type of conduct, and all district employees are required to immediately report any suspected abuse to a designated licensed administrator, as well as to law enforcement and/or DHS.”
All district employees undergo annual sexual misconduct training, and all volunteers are provided with information on prevention and identification of abuse, sexual conduct and reporting obligations, Erlebach added. The school district has resources available to students who may be victims, including counseling. For more information on resources available, contact Neah-Kah-Nie High School Counselors Margaret Whiting or Esther Troyer at 503-355-2272.
Washington county detectives would like to hear from anyone with information about Bauer, regardless of the length of time it has been. Community members can contact Washington County Sheriff’s Office by calling (503) 846-2700.