Sexual Assault Investigation Becomes HazMat Operation

Jackson Co. Sheriff's Office

GRANTS PASS, Ore. – A recent sexual assault investigation became a HazMat incident in rural Grants Pass late last week.  The suspect in the case is currently lodged in the Jackson County jail with bail set at one million dollars.  Additional charges are still pending.

On May 29, 2019, a woman reported that she had been sexually and physically assaulted by a man in his home in the 200-block of Savage Creek Road.   Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) detectives identified the suspect in the case as John Jake Rabe Cabeza II, 27. 

On May 30, detectives located Cabeza during a traffic stop on Savage Creek Road.  A portion of the roadway was closed for a short time while deputies took Cabeza into custody.

Following Cabeza’s arrest, detectives served a search warrant at his home.  Investigators located a clandestine lab and left the premises until it could be cleared by the Hazardous Materials Response Team from Medford Fire-Rescue, and personnel from the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).  Agents collected and disposed of numerous toxic chemicals described by investigators as poisonous, volatile, energetic, and oxidizing. 

Investigators located an illegal marijuana growing operation at the residence.  Detectives with the Medford Area Drug and Gang Enforcement unit (MADGE) and the Illegal Marijuana Enforcement Team (IMET) assisted with the service of the search warrant and subsequent investigation into the drug-related activity.  Local members of the US Marshals Pacific Northwest Violent Offender Task
Force (PNVOTF) also assisted in the incident.

Cabeza was lodged in the Jackson County jail on numerous charges, including first degree rape, first degree sodomy, second and fourth degree assault, second degree robbery, strangulation, coercion, menacing, unlawful use of a weapon, and tampering with a witness.  His bail was set at one million dollars during a court appearance on Friday, May 31. 

The investigation is ongoing and additional charges are expected to be filed.  Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Detective Adam Lewis at (541) 774-6800.  Refer to case #19-10582.