Former United States Probation Officer Sentenced to 10 Years

Mark J. Walker Violated the Civil Rights of Five Female Offenders Under His Supervision


Mark John Walker, 52, of Eugene, Oregon, was sentenced today by Chief United States District Judge Ralph R. Beistline, who is a visiting judge from Alaska, to 10 years in prison for violating five victims’ constitutional rights to bodily integrity while acting under color of law. Walker engaged in sexual contact or aggravated sexual abuse with female offenders who were under his direct supervision as a federal probation officer from 2006 to 2009.

The court also ordered a five-year term of supervised release, and imposed a number of conditions to prevent Walker from abusing anyone else when he is released from prison. Walker, who was a federal probation officer for over 20 years, will himself be subjected to supervision by a probation officer when he is released from prison. In addition, he was ordered to register under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, undergo a sexual deviancy evaluation, and treatment. Walker was ordered not to have any contact with any of the victims in the case, as well as several other women who came forward to law enforcement and reported that Walker had treated them in similar ways in years past. Chief Judge Beistline also ordered Walker to pay a $25,000 fine.

“Walker’s betrayal of trust is staggering,” stated U.S. Attorney Dwight C. Holton. “He victimized people he was entrusted to supervise, and on top of that, he undermined the credibility of people in law enforcement and the courthouse community. I hope his lengthy prison sentence makes clear that we will hold accountable those who breach the public trust.”

Chief Judge Beistline apologized to the victims on behalf of the government and the federal court and commended each of them for their courage, strength, and integrity in coming forward. The court found that each of the victims was particularly vulnerable and that the defendant took advantage of those vulnerabilities.

As a United States probation officer, Mark Walker supervised offenders who were serving probation or supervised release terms imposed by a federal judge, including offenders with vulnerable backgrounds involving sexual abuse, mental illness, and drug addiction. Walker had the power to recommend that offenders who violated their conditions of probation or supervised release be incarcerated or otherwise sanctioned. Walker was bound by the Code of Conduct for Judicial Employees, and was responsible for complying with the United States Constitution, as well as all federal, state and local laws.

While exercising his authority as a probation officer, Walker willfully violated the victims’ civil rights by kissing them or touching their breasts, buttocks, and inner thighs without their consent, and in order to gratify his own sexual desires. With one victim, Walker pulled her pants down and forced her to have sexual intercourse with him when he visited her home as part of his official duties. The victims never reported the violations to authorities because they were afraid that no one would believe them and because Walker, as their probation officer, had the power to have them incarcerated or otherwise punished.

Source: U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation